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. Sara

    Talk about poor judgement. Why would anyone want him as mayor after this?

    July 23, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. 7th Congressional District, Virginia

    People, eventually, get the representation they deserve.

    July 23, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  3. Paul

    I think late-night comedians, regardless of creed, pray one simple prayer each morning–for jokes so ready-made, no work is involved. It's like holding out your hand and simply catching ripe apples as they fall from the tree, folks.

    July 23, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. boyohboy

    Am I the only one who thinks his wife is totally pathetic for sticking by him as he does this AGAIN?!?!?

    I thought she was stupid for staying the first time around. Now here we go again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

    July 23, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    Feel very sorry for his wife, but its her decision to stay or not.

    July 23, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Gigi33

    Weiner's wife says she forgives him but what she is doing is telling her child that it's ok to treat women like objects and to betray your wife.

    July 23, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. howardganglinger@yahoo.com

    What a turd...

    July 23, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. Jules

    That's great his wife forgives him. This Democrat finds him just too stupid or too sick to be mayor.

    July 23, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. derk-o

    Filner/Weiner 2016

    July 23, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. carlwesleyclark

    Seriously, it is time for this guy to get a job washing dishes or something. I was willing to support him for mayor over quinn, but I'm going to throw my weight behind Bill de Blasio now. Huma, when you realize this guy is one gigantic dou@he, please feel free to give me a call. I will treat you with the loyalty and respect you deserve.

    July 23, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  11. RR Abbott

    OMG, this Guy!! I just feel sorry for the wife. She should issue a statement of support...OK i will take that....ahhh but to stand there and be humiliated, i do not get it! She is such a beatiful woman, who good are those ather girls, sharon Stone?

    July 23, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  12. carlwesleyclark

    Seriously this guy needs to bow out. It is just disgusting. I'm going with Bill de Blasio.

    July 23, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  13. SokrMom

    Just once I'd like to see a political wife step to the microphone at a time like this and say, "I've already seen a divorce lawyer. We're through."

    July 23, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Falcon78

    If the people of NYC are stupid–and I do mean stupid–enough to elect this knucklehead, you get what you deserve. Houma must have got counseling from Hillary on how to handle the hurt a serial strayer can lay on. Wait until there child is old enough to read the newspaper accounts of Dad. Won't they be proud of Dad. Another case for a lifetime of therapy on the psychiatrist's couch. My goodness New Yorkers, how can this guy still be a candidate?

    July 23, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. Suhweet

    Oooooops...... screwed up again, oh! well, we are moving forward, cause my wife has forgiven me. New York you are in for a ride if you elect this poor excuse for human being. What's really sad is he makes his wife stand up with him in all his lack of shame.

    July 23, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. Jim Briggz

    Why is this news. Who care's! So his handlers pulled her a side and told her how to stand and what to say so they could get some press. Just be real. Be a real person. I dream of the day we get a down to earth politician.

    July 23, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. i_know_everything

    still better most Republicans

    July 23, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. wrm

    "Weiner Mayor"

    Isn't that the truth.

    July 23, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  19. Ryan Corruptus

    Weiner's Wife: I still Love his money

    July 23, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Tom Maldez

    Just look at the forgiveness in his wife's eyes.

    July 23, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  21. Martha

    I like this guy–he's smart, passionate, a great fighter ... just the kind of politician you want on your side, but he needs to give it up. He comes across as an internet sleaze and as much as I like him, I wouldn't be able to vote for him.

    July 23, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. Mara Tam

    Yuck. Why is she still with him? Why is he running?

    July 23, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Weiner's weeener is grateful for the forgiveness

    July 23, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Former GOP

    .......It's a star........It's a plane...........It's a ......WEINER

    July 23, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  25. Rae

    I wish he would get off my news feed and out of the Mayoral race. Seriously man, stop humiliating your wife.

    July 23, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
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