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. newton

    If it's too be, I hope he can keep his attention on the good of the people.

    July 23, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. soundnfury

    Any person willing to lie to the people closest to them for personal gain does not have the integrity necessary to tell voters the truth and put them before himself.

    July 23, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  3. hemusbull

    How one can be so stupid? Shut up and get lost!

    July 23, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  4. navaJohn

    His wife doesn't look very convincing.

    July 23, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. rnelson

    He apparently cannot recall if there are other lewd photos out there that have not yet been found. Amazing. IMost normal people would know if they might have lewd photos out there that have not come to light. And more amazing is that there will be people that will vote for him as mayor, just like people voted for the crackhead former mayor of DC. Blind party loyalty is the downfall of politics in America. This is a great example of that.

    July 23, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. dsangiovanni

    Still ? I was expecting this guy gone....for ever !!

    July 23, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. 986

    Wow, she learned a lot from Hillary. Stand by your man no matter what! Not sure who has the bigger problem.

    July 23, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. Patricia

    Quick advice to his wife: Get out now. Cheaters always cheat. You owe him nothing.

    July 23, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. blakenaustin

    Just another far left pervert and loser.

    July 23, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    I liked this guy before it came out about his self-centered, narcissistic addition. Now he's just another low-life (right up there with all the anti-gay Repubs who take young men on vacation as "helpers").

    July 23, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Stick a fork in Weiner , turn him over , he's done !

    July 23, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. Weiner Roaster

    What an amazing wife and woman she is, she can do so much better.

    July 23, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. furianxo

    And the democratic voters will vote him right back into office... he is probably a poster boy compared to the majority of his colleages.

    July 23, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. David

    He obviously enjoys public humiliation. The voters of New York can decide if they can tolerate his freaky side on Election Day. I'll just enjoy a good laugh for a few and move on.

    July 23, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. kvan

    Weiner and his doormat wife....mentored by the Clintons. Maybe Weiner and Filner will run together in 2016?

    July 23, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Bob

    She learned from Hillary, stand by your man ! Huma must want to run for office. Carlos Danger ? Where is the danger in a little Weiner ?

    July 23, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Dorothy

    Welcome to our world, Mr. Weiner. We're all weeners to the NSA.

    July 23, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Matt

    This guy is just deluded.

    July 23, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. Elmer Fudd

    When the Democrats circled the wagons around Bill Clinton they lowered the bar for all politicians.

    July 23, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  20. alain

    Even AFTER the firestorm surrounding his resignation?

    July 23, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Jennifer J

    First of all, who cares about this couple? And second, she is either pathetic or really wants to be the mayor's wife.

    July 23, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  22. Ibcrazy2

    What a lucky man to have such an understanding and forgiving wife! Where did he find her? That kind of behavior would cost me at least half of all I own and probably much more.

    July 23, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. qazoo

    You forgive him ! Honey where your from, one would expect nothing less. (you in America now nothing to fear if you split)

    July 23, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  24. Sam Smith

    LLLLLLLLLLLLLLoser!!!!

    And New Yorkers will be even bigger LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLosers if they elect this fraud!

    July 23, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. AlLies

    What I find really entertaining is that if he were a Republican the libs would be screaming about another GOP woman hater. This man obviously has zero respect for women or for the people he is trying to serve. If he and his wife want to do whatever on their time I don't care, but his wife did not consent to his behavior, which makes him an untrustworthy liar. So sad that people like this are what so many in this country emulate and defend.

    July 23, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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