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. Mike

    His wife need more help than he does.

    July 23, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. kim

    No one is perfect, but in certain professions I believe honesty and integrity matters. I know that sounds laughable that politicians should be honest and have integrity but these are the people we are entrusting to make decisions for our nation, to spend our money, to do what is best for us and our families. If he is lying to his wife, why would he be honest in any other aspect of his life? What has happened to our culture where we aren't demanding politicians to be trustworthy? Regardless of political affiliation, all of our politicians/judges/etc should be held to high standards because they are in positions of power. Yes, they are human and make mistakes, but there's a difference between a "normal" oops and what Weiner has done.

    July 23, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. BRUCE

    Just a diversion to block the quality candidates not on the take

    July 23, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. Craig Kreuter

    How can New Yorkers stop all of this "Junk Mail'?

    July 23, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  5. margie

    Uma thuma whatever your name is you are a nut for staying with perv boy. Guess being 1st lady of NYC trumps self respect. As far as the rest of NYC voters, after being stuck with the freak Bloomberg must we settle for a self acknowledged loony boy. Since morality means nada anymore, how about common sense, sanity? Is that too much New Yorkers? For the love of God(forgot, no believers in the big Snapple) please, can't we find another Rudi, like him or not he cleaned the place up and was great after being attacked by Islamic spawns of satan. Weiner admit yourself to long term clinic before we the public have you pink slipped ourselves. That goes for you too Uma Thuma, you is stuck on stupid.

    July 23, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  6. Harry S Truman

    Sadly, I am more concerned re the wife. She seemed so much smarter. If he did not divulge these add'l improprieties to her earlier, why the heck is she showing up in public with him? Worse, if he did, why is she at all connected to hom anymore? Last, why is he still in our headlines?! Can't media find something else to write about?!

    July 23, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. keltic1

    I would vote for him as "Pimp of New York".

    July 23, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. copanut

    "she learned at the knee of Hillary Clinton" – lucky Bill

    July 23, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  9. Babak from LA

    This is the kind of thing you read and just shake your head ..... His poor wife that is standing next to him. This is proof that politicians have no shame.....

    July 23, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  10. Nameann

    This man is too immature to be mayor of NYC. He needs to work through his addictive behavior and that could take a long time.
    The mayor of this city needs someone who can focus full-time on the job. He got his second chance and he blew it.

    July 23, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. somethingandnothing

    I have been here for years. If you love someone it can take a long time to heal, but it can be done. I wish her the best of luck in her process.

    July 23, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. Lily

    He obviously is still addicted and his wife is an enabler. Do they really think that because she is in denial enough to put up with his addiction on a continual basis that we the public should therefore trust him and vote him into office? I think not. Let's face it, he's no Bill Clinton.

    July 23, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. Mikey

    To those who say everyone does this, or women do it too, you appear to fail to appreciate how misogynistic and awful this conduct is. More seriously, when this first arose, this clown tried to cover it up, blaming hackers and political enemies for what he clearly had done. When he finally confessed, back in 2011, he basically said that it was over. Well, it wasn't over and, based on the nature of what he then peddled, his conduct was even worse (more graphic, more hedonistic). Who cares what party affiliation he has, this person is neither fit for public office nor, for that matter, for any office that relies on the person to be honest, trustworthy, ethical, etc. He would be fired if in the corporate world, the sporting world, etc. He is a complete embarrassment. Surely New Yorkers cannot give this creep their votes.

    July 23, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. Jenny

    These stupid women. I guess the royal birth was the better headline after all. Stupid, stupid women.

    July 23, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  15. Really

    I love listening to the left wing nut jobs trying to defend this pervert. Would you trust this guy alone with your teenage daughter? If not don't vote for this clown so he can go back to doing what he loves and no one will care.

    July 23, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. mbo2

    they are both pathetic narcissits

    July 23, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Chris

    Hey, I've got an idea, let the people of New York elect him and he'll fit right in with the 'norm' up there. Doesn't anyone hold any government officials to a high standard of behavior?

    July 23, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. craig

    I know a lot of fat, unhealthy physicians, but who are excellent at the practice of medicine. I don't know this guy, but I can say that I did think that the country made much ado about nothing with the Clinton/Lewinsky matter. It was personal, and did not affect his ability to do his job, unless of course you are of the belief that a professional must not only be able to do a good job, but also be a role model. To be frank, if Clinton's policies resulted in me getting a job, or if my fat doctor diagnoses my disease properly and saves my life, I wouldn't toss those things away simply because they are not a good 'role model'. What is a role model anyway? People should just do what they feel is right and learn the good side of everybody, while avoiding the bad.

    July 23, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    What a Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. Not smitten by Mittens

    Oh I'm glad I'm not an An-tho-ny Weiner...... Great revelations on National Hot Dog Day. We don't need a Weiner for Mayor. When will this narcissist stop humiliating his wife in public and just go away. So unclear on the concept of monogamy, marriage, morality, and common sense.

    July 23, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    I forgive him.

    I got my training from Hillary Clinton.

    IF
    You say FORWARD.... A LOT.... EVERYTHING is fine!!!

    July 23, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  22. Shameful

    This man must leave public office now, a picture tells a thousand words, look at his poor wife sad eyes, her face reflects nothing but stress, shame on her for staying with him baby or no baby

    July 23, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. Joe

    For people who are trying to compare this to an affair, what this guy did was much worse. He was flashing his junk to strangers. Some who wanted nothing to do with it. This is no different than the guy on the subway who whips his junk out and shows people. He is a sick freak!

    July 23, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  24. U.S. Citizen

    His wife will either hug him or burp him.

    July 23, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Give the man a chance. Most of you men’s and women’s that have cheated are not even half the man this Weiner is. He deserve a second chance. Most men’s are coward but this man has step up and has recognize he did wrong and he is not proud of his mistake and error he has done. He has talk to his wife and ask for forgiveness and she has gain that trust on his husband and has forgiven him. Now it all the people turned to give him a chance and not judge him for his past. I have made several mistake that I am ashamed but I am standing tall trying to jump all kind of hoops and obstacles that the world throw to me it make it difficult to get back in life with 3 kids.

    July 23, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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