July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
9 months 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. Anonymous

    On National HOT DOG day!!

    July 23, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. MesaMax

    Huma sounds like Hillary, standing by her man. Enabling her man. What a price she is willing to pay for political power. Just like Hillary.

    July 23, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  3. Jason

    His wife is attractive and I imagine its very difficult for her. I pray that they can fully repair their marriage regardless of disagreements in politics.

    July 23, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. McGee

    Opportunist is as opportunist does.

    July 23, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. Disgusted

    He is a really warped individual! Didn't he promise to quit the offensive behavior when he resigned? What about arresting him as a predator?

    July 23, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    By looking at the photo, his wife does not have the look of forgiveness, it looks like a you disgust me look to me.

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

    She might forgive him, but the people should not, He showed the people he wants to represent he can NOT be trusted.

    July 23, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. Nobody Asked Me

    Finally. 2 new long term players on The So Self Unaware Ridiculously Entertaining Politicians AlwaysOnTheWeb Service. Palin, Bachman needed company and this guy and spouse look like the answer. I will follow all their funny antics and click on any link I see for them throughout the campaign. Dare I hope that he actually becomes Mayor? Can't – as I like NYC too much.

    July 23, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Sj2013

    Wow. Weiner must have a big one. Or, he must have implemented Sharia law in his wedding vows. Great job being a submissive wife! Geez. Huma and Hillary should start their own daytime talk show focused on the finer points of being a submissive/ opportunistic politiwife.

    July 23, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. George Dixon

    As Huma worked with Hillary "Stand-by-Your-Man' Clinton she must have been coached on being a Democrat Wife.....

    July 23, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. James50

    Huma must have learned from Hilary to stand by her man no matter how embarrassing things get. Normal people have a conscience but politicians seem to be a very narcissistic bunch. I still believe that if a someone cheats on their spouse, it says a lot about their lack of good ethics and values. If they continue to get elected regardless of their indiscretions, it says a lot about the the voters that vote for them

    July 23, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. DumbAndDumber

    His wife is really a numbskull. She doesn't get that he wants to be with other women. Oh well, stupid is as stupid does.

    July 23, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. I'm Mad

    This man should run as an "Independent" so he can do his own thing

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

    The look on that woman's face does NOT say I believe him, I trust him, or I love him. Heck, it doesn't even say I like him. She needs to pack her bag and leave now, and stop let him make a spectacle of their private life.

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

    Will both of them just go away.

    July 23, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. Mike500

    The saddest part is that the voters of NYC will probably elect him. After all, they have reelected Charlie Rangel, one of the most corrupt members of Congress, over and over.

    July 23, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. rick

    The only thing that bothers me about this, it was Probably John McCain on the receiving end of the texts....

    July 23, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  18. Norman

    HELLO? Earth to Weiner apologiists. He 'manned up' to his latest dumbsheet action because he knew it would come out during the campaign. Weiner can't help himself....New Yorkers can....

    July 23, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. db

    The new Democratic Dream Team for 2016 is "Weiner/Holder"!

    July 23, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. Jim

    You know, I'm no fan of this guy but why is this even news? I know loads of people of both genders who have sent dirty pictures to people they met online. Some of them single, some of them not. I don't condone this behavior, but I don't find it particularly shocking either. IMO as long as the people he is flirting with are not underage, this is between him and his wife.

    July 23, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Dagnasty

    What's interesting is not so much that this is a "story," but that no more than a week ago, CNN.com was running adds for the new season of The Newsroom -wherein WIll McAvoy discusses this very Weiner garbage that pollutes the "news."
    How does Weinier's inability to control his genitals front-page "news?!?!"
    It doesn't even belong in a tabloid, its such crap.

    July 23, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. tribecagal

    Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result? This guy is just a narcissistic fool and god knows we already have enough of those in politics.

    July 23, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. Addison

    Look the man is an incurable pervert. He is a modern day version of the man naked in a rain coat exposing himself to young girls and women. What do we not know what is in his mind, but we know child molesters are not curable, and Weiner is not curable. His wife does not look so happy to me, and I can imagine what she would really like to say. I hope New Yorkers are as smart as I think they are and send this pervert back to his home. I cannot imagine mayor pervert getting elected.

    July 23, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. norma jean

    If this man has so little control over his emtional being...while he did seem like a likable guy.....I think he should stay away from the political scene.............We have trouble enough with the ones who THINK they are in control!!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. EdL

    I think Weiner's wife wants to see hubby get back on the government gravy train.

    July 23, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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