July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
1 year ago

Weiner, with wife at side, says lewd exchanges happened after resignation

Updated at 10:13 p.m. ET on 7/23

(CNN) - With his wife by his side, New York mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner said Tuesday that some of the sexually explicit online exchanges that were published by a gossip website happened after his resignation from the U.S. House in 2011.

"Some of these things happened before my resignation, some happened after," Weiner said at a hastily organized press conference in New York, where he also pushed back when asked if the latest revelation would prompt him to drop out of the race.

His remarks came hours after screenshots of sexually charged conversations and photographs appeared on a gossip website which alleged the communications were between Weiner and a young woman last summer.

Weiner resigned his House seat in New York after admitting to sending lewd photographs and images to multiple women.

In an extraordinary move, Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, appeared beside her husband Tuesday and made brief remarks backing him.

"What I want to say is I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as I have said from the beginning, we are moving forward," said Abedin, a top adviser to Hillary Clinton, adding that Weiner had made some "horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress, and after."

PHOTOS: Weiner addresses lewd exhanges

Weiner resisted calls from some of his rivals for the Democratic mayoral nomination to give up his bid, adding, "I'm sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race."

The New York chapter of the National Organization for Woman called on Weiner to withdraw from the race following his press conference.

"As if we didn't already have enough evidence of Anthony Weiner's utter lack of judgment, impulse control and honesty, these latest revelations show the degree to which his candidacy distracts us from the important business of choosing the next leader of New York City," Sonia Ossorio, the president of the group, wrote in a statement.

The editorial board of the New York Times followed suit, writing "At some point, the full story of Anthony Weiner and his sexual relationships and texting habits will finally be told. In the meantime, the serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City."

READ MORE: Who's in the lead in the New York City mayoral race?

Earlier in the day, Weiner released a statement admitting that some of the conversations and photos that appeared on the website TheDirty.com were his.

"While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong," Weiner said.

In the statement, Weiner pointed to previous comments he made around the time he announced his bid for New York City mayor, in which he said it was possible for more photos to come out as he made a re-entry into politics.

"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have," he said Tuesday.

The exchanges that surfaced Tuesday were revealed about a year after they allegedly took place and in the middle of Weiner's Democratic primary campaign for New York mayor.

"This behavior is behind me. I've apologized to Huma and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness," he said.

READ MORE: Has the road to political redemption gotten shorter?

In facing reporters, Weiner was supported by his wife, who in emotional comments discussed the couple's struggles to save their marriage.

"I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage," she said. "That was a decision I made for me, for our son, and for our family."

"This was the first time we heard his wife, Huma Abedin, speak at a press conference, but also speak about these issues," CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash said. "This wasn't just a scene of a wife standing by her political man. This was a wife coming up to the cameras, coming up to the microphones, and talking, which was frankly extraordinary. She is somebody who isn't just a wife. She is very politically savvy."

"Maybe most importantly, she learned at the knee of Hillary Clinton, somebody who most famously stood by her man politically. And so she's following in those footsteps,” Bash continued.

READ MORE: Huma Abedin, a Hillary Clinton adviser, emerges from privacy to spotlight

As Weiner's latest scandal unfolded, Harper's Bazaar published excerpts of an article Abedin wrote for the magazine.

"Three years ago I was a single workaholic, traveling the globe with an amazing job at the U.S. State Department. I could not have imagined how much my life would change in three short years," Abedin wrote for the magazine's September issue.

"Today I'm married, with a feisty 20-month-old son, a full-time job, and a husband running for mayor of New York."

Abedin said she has kept her personal life private for years, and no one is more surprised than she is to see herself on the campaign trail.

"So why am I doing this? Because Anthony has always been a smart, caring, and dedicated person, and while he's the same public servant who wants what's best for the people he represents, he is now something else-a better man," Abedin wrote.

Weiner’s public remarks came after chat messages purporting to be from Weiner were published on the website TheDirty.com. The post cited a "solid" source alleging Weiner engaged in lewd online conversations with her, and reproduced lengthy chats that were sexual in nature.

READ MORE: 'Women for Anthony' hope to boost Weiner mayoral bid

The woman, 22, says Weiner vowed to secure her a place on a panel hosted by Politico, as well as purchase a condominium for her in Chicago.

"I just want people to really know he's lying when he acts like he has changed," the unnamed woman told TheDirty.

In one instance, an explicit photo was published that the site claimed Weiner sent to the woman online. The name Weiner used online was "Carlos Danger," according to TheDirty.com

Weiner, who represented parts of Brooklyn and Queens, resigned from Congress after admitting to sending lewd photographs to multiple women online. At first he hedged on whether the photos were of him, including in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"It certainly doesn't look familiar to me, but I don't want to say with certitude to you something that I don't know to be the certain truth," Weiner said at the time.

After more reports of online exchanges with other women surfaced, fellow Democrats encouraged Weiner to resign, which he ultimately did after confessing to the indiscretions.

In the run-up to his mayoral bid, which he launched in May, he said more photos could emerge.

"If reporters want to go and try to find more, I can't say they're not going to be able to find another picture, find another person who may want to come out on their own," he told RNN Television. "But I'm not going to contribute to that. The basics of the story are not going to change. It's behind me. It was a huge mistake."

Polls taken over the past several weeks have shown Weiner either leading his closest rival for the Democratic mayoral nomination, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, or trailing her in second place.

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Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (1,191 Responses)
  1. I AM

    As long as his wife excuses his Weiner, maybe we should think about it too.

    July 23, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Dave

    If she's so naive, stupid, and has such little self esteem, she can keep him....good riddance!

    July 23, 2013 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Oh Really

    This clown couldn't have a more apropos name: Weiner
    He needs serious mental help.

    July 23, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. rc roeder

    weiner is a whiner that needs his weiner removed

    July 23, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  5. Jamie

    I didnt see the media conference, but hear he was a bit stiff in his response to questions !!

    July 23, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. steve hanna

    While I believe in everyone's privacy, his actions speak to his judgement and impulse control. Do not see how he could be seriously considered.

    July 23, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Rimuladas

    Who care? Really? Most of us don't. And CCN, yes you, this is not worthy of the front page starting picture and headlines. Who is running this website? Pathetic.

    July 23, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. TerryLynn

    CNN- please rise above this reporting. Nobody cares about this. I am shocked how much coverage you are giving this!!
    The voters will decide. Leave it alone......he stands so little chance......move on to better reporting please. You are letting me down!!!

    July 23, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. lbdukeep

    Trust is a major issue – he used his office for illicit behavior. How can this man be trusted in the future?

    July 23, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. Glenn

    This fellow is personifying the definition of Hubris. By what standard he seems to measuring himself against and worthy of "the peoples" support is truly gob smacking. Particularly offensive today was the manner in which he monitored his wife's admonition, word for word over her shoulder, making sure she missed not talking points. Mr. Weiner, man up... leave the stadium, and stop expecting to profit off the public purse.

    July 23, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  11. Bill

    I always feel sorry for the wives in these situations. Only Hillary had the stones to go on the offensive, lie through her teeth, and say that it was all a "vast right wing conspiracy". Other than Hillary, they all have enough decency about them that they don't lie, and try to twist things to their advantage, they just have to stand there and look utterly humiliated.

    July 23, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. disent

    Malnourished and Malcontent Weiner

    July 23, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Smoking Guy

    I love during the press conference he said, " I ask you for a sec...second chance." He had to think if he should say third or not LOL

    July 23, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  14. gentile

    Boy New York you really are the dumbest population in the USA. The fact that you overwhelmingly would choose & trust Weiner/Spitzer for Mayor really displays your utter stupidity. As a whole your population lacks logic & I think Weiner/Spitzer ticket is the perfect choice for your community.

    July 23, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. john

    most people here are hypocrites ,because most American men love to mess around with woman and et when a politician gets caught there is that moral outrage.

    July 23, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. Peter

    One of the greatest cities in the world, and this loser tops the list to run it? Come on New York!!! I do hope he gets help for this because this is obviously an addition.

    July 23, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  17. TomGI

    "Weiner's wife: I forgive him"

    Again?

    July 23, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  18. lmori

    Of course she forgives him. She wants to be married to a mayor.

    July 23, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. J-Staff

    That guy in the back ground was killing me. I couldn't even pay attention to Wiener because he kept sticking his head above the cubicle wall. Easy one for SNL and late night talk shows.

    July 23, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. sisterchef

    No, you can't make this stuff up. Weiner may not be the most stupid person ever, but he makes me forget who I thought was.

    July 23, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. reddogab

    This guy needs intervention and his wife needs a divorce attorney.

    July 23, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Weiner thinks with his weiner.

    July 23, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. Just Me

    Goodness gracious...I was reading the news about the Royal Baby, everything so nice and clean and happy and then all of a sudden CNN changes the front page and send us all the way down to the SEWAGE PIPES showing us the news and pictures of these two ugly- low- spirit- power vampires...sigh............

    July 23, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. JJ

    Weiner thinks with his weiner.

    July 23, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. visitor

    The fact that he apparently was trading favors for pulling job strings shows he is unfit for office, no matter what the timeline. NY would be well advised to avoid someone who shows a large potential for corruption.

    July 23, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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