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. Texas

    @JohnAnderson instead of bellyaching about Barry why don't you get your guy elected? Oh that's right...you already tried.

    July 23, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    How many people have stolen something how many people have cheated how many person have let there family for drug and drinking and have lost everything but want a second chance but your not able to get a chance cause people judge you for our past how many people have made a mistake at work but because that mistake they can’t get a hire position in there work.how many person have fallen in love to the wrong person and now they have one or two kid that have a parent that decide to follow there crazy dreams. How many person have left school and now they wish they were in school.how many person have been in jail for something they did or did not do but because this record haunt you and your not able to continue living a normal life.WEINER desrve a second chance

    July 23, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. billmosby

    That doesn't look like the most forgiving look on Mrs. Weiner's face, though, it looks more like "please stop abusing me" or something.

    July 23, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. erichx101x

    Stay grounded, New York. Do the right thing. Don't let these creeps in. Love, LA.

    July 23, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. Bill

    This guy is a magnificent d-bag and perfect for the people of NY!

    July 23, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Just

    It is national hot dog day today

    July 23, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. Jez

    This is such garbage! He isn't sorry – he just wants to be mayor.

    July 23, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Pete

    Reporter: "Mr. Weiner..."
    Weiner: "I'm sorry!"
    Reporter: "Huh?"
    Weiner: "Force of habit."

    July 23, 2013 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. KJ

    I'd have more respect for these wives if they just dumped these losers...

    July 23, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Name Rod

    Anthony Weiner, what a Dick! At least he's named correctly.

    July 23, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. goat

    "i made some mistakes, before and after.... so re-elect me again? :D"

    July 23, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Rick

    The Weiner stays in....his wife must be incredibly stupid though.....

    July 23, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. Howie

    He is disgusting. How on earth can his wife even tolerate being in the same room with him. What a fool. Anyone who would vote this man into office deserves whatever lies he sèrves up.

    July 23, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. bugmetoo

    Mayor Weiner? Sounds like a Ronald McDonald commercial. Come on New York!!! You can do so much better!!!

    July 23, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. NYKnows

    Why does Weiner keep running for office? Is he sadistic? Nope, we were never going to elect him, despite the polls (paid for polls are never right any way) – but it was funny to see him try.

    July 23, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. Gerry Done

    Nothing wrong with what Weiner has done and still may be doing. It's perfectly legal.

    July 23, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. northerstar

    I don't care what Weiner does in his "private" life and I don't care if his wife wants to forgive him! He has demonstrated that he is not fit to hold public office.
    He resigned from Congress in 2011 and at that time (after denying the story and requesting the FBI investigate) said how sorry he was, how much he learned from his mistakes and would work on his marriage, etc. A year later in 2012 he is caught behaving the same way. If his wife wants to forgive him a second time; she needs her head examined.
    However, as a voter, I get to choose WHO I select to LEAD me and our country. His guy is either out of control or just believes voters are too stup$d not to elect him. Last time I looked, NYC actually needed a responsible Mayor, not someone who is going to spent his entire time in office defending his bad behavior after the next time he is caught. He will not stop this behavior !
    If he is elected Mayor, then NYC deserves what they get. I believe we DESERVE better from the people who want to lead us !

    July 23, 2013 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. Shinea

    Forgiving your spouse is fine ... the first time, after that you deserve what you get.

    July 23, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. meghan

    this man has serious issues that need to be dealt with before he gains office again.

    and his wife is a poor role model for all women, as a miserable role model for muslim women and girls.

    July 23, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. BalancedBudget

    A democrat with low morals. No surprise there.

    July 23, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. Ricksta

    How did these private messages come to light? Was his account hacked, was the woman part of a "sting" or dis he just volunteer this revelation?

    July 23, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. Nigel

    As long as the RightWing keeps relecting people like Mark Sanford and David Vitter, they should keep their outrage to themselves.

    July 23, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. Mac

    This is really disrespectful towards his wife. Everyone makes a mistake, but do it over and over and over again shows he doesn't care at all about his wife or women in general.

    July 23, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. Toni Wilkenson

    I will never vote or marry someone with the last name of WEINER!

    July 23, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Mike

    Run all you want but, nobody will take you seriously.

    July 23, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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