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. Floyd

    Hello mates, how is everything, and what you wish for to say about this article, in my view its genuinely amazing in support of me.

    July 24, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  2. jhorell

    'The ony way to overcome temptation is yield to it" – Oscar Wilde

    July 24, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  3. France

    So many good people who can't find work and this (Man?), is running for mayor? How about dog warden? He needs a kick up the ass and this woman who supports him needs two. Hope there aren't any children in this relationship to pass there morals to. She seems to have more in common with Hillary Clinton than just being an advisor.

    July 24, 2013 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  4. Jeffhanson1

    Considering the demeanor Anthony Weiner's wife, no wonder he cheats. She just stands there smiling on occasion like a gullible fool and a tool. All in the name of money and fame I'm sure. But she could divorce him and get the money so what gives?

    July 24, 2013 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  5. Ben Emos

    Weiner maybe using this scandal to promote his new website thedirty.com. He doesn't really care about the mayoral position.

    July 24, 2013 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  6. sally

    Dr. Phil, please help this guy... He has a big problem and should not be in public service. Shame on you Anthony Weiner!!!!

    July 24, 2013 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  7. billy f

    Get a job you little weenie

    July 24, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  8. yikes

    Seriously??? What the eff is WRONG with this man??? He needs to focus on getting HELP, not on a mayoral campaign.

    July 24, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  9. k.k.

    Must be so painful for him, his family, and for the public. It is a tough decision

    July 24, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  10. Jack in Florida

    He has many issues and the Mayor of New York, should not be having these issues. I sure hope my fellow New Yorkers send him a clear message that he should not be running for this office. He needs some therapy, as to why he feels the need to show off his "pony".

    July 24, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  11. R

    Like one could even think of him as any type of candidate is beyond me. Garbage should be taken to the curb. His wife should run and find herself a real man!

    July 24, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  12. DC Johnny

    And queue the Liberal drones and their "But Sanford" this and "Sanford" that. "Such hypocrisy!"

    Do you not understand how it works? Let me help you morons. Just like with the whole Bush blame game, you don't get to paint your opposition as the worst thing ever, and then immediately compare your own guy to that guy.

    "How can you hate Obama for wire tapping? Bush did it too."

    "Weiner is human. Sanford made the same mistakes and you reelected him!!"

    No I didn't. The people of an isolated city elected Sanford.

    July 24, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  13. VoteForAbedin

    Instead of Weiner, let Huma Abedin run for Mayor. She'll win!

    July 24, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  14. n222s

    Well, the good news is; a man who would sext, lie about it, try to blame it on a Photoshop conspiracy, resign, do it some more after being caught the first time, try and set up a woman in a love nest would NEVER, EVER betray the trust of the public. No. In that regard he can be completely trusted.

    Yes, I feel the same wy about Mark Sanford. Yes, I feel the same way about the San Diego mayor. Yes, bring up a Republican too. I'll feel the same way about him/her.

    The point being that I KNOW it is about personal matters. But we SHOULD ask for better behavior from all politicians. You know why they are corrupt? Because we let them get away with it.

    But it is only about, you know...the s word. No...a politician could NEVER be blackmailed. Never, ever.

    July 24, 2013 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  15. Clown Show

    This clown needs a job with the circus.

    Enough already letting clowns take important public positions.

    July 24, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  16. joe blow

    It's all about the Weiner with this guy.

    July 24, 2013 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  17. Hao So

    She is looking more pathetic than sympathetic this time around.

    The guy is a sleaze. Either she enjoys being humiliated by a sleazeball, or she is just putting up with it to ride his political coattails. Neither perspective is too flattering.

    Saying she is doing it for the kid is even worse. That kid will be getting bullied over this 10-20 years from now.

    July 24, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  18. Jerry

    Uhh! More of my fellow Demo-rats misguided values!!! (This idiocy/pompousness does not apply to all of my fellow Democrats.)

    This guy is almost as big a liar as Obama; and that says a lot.

    Poor wife!!! I realize there are other issues and things involved (child, etc., etc., etc.) However, she must be the laughing stock of most other women.

    Such a shame...

    July 24, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  19. Dean

    Amazing that Democrat women are still supporting him. They state that it's just a family matter and that the public should not be involved. Typical liberal thinking...for them, character doesn't matter.

    July 24, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  20. Insight

    He wanted to say good bye to all his connection and that is why it took little time after his resignation.

    July 24, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  21. lisa loo

    Running for office is lucrative whether you win or lose. Tony Dick has no moral compass. Hes practically pimping his wife out (although I realize she agreed to be that). I wouldn't trust that dirt bag to manage running to the grocery store let alone running NYC.

    July 24, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  22. Brenda

    This man is a selfish pig not fit for public office. I wonder if his wife has any self respect? People treat you the way you teach them to treat you by what you accept, allow, and condone.

    July 24, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  23. L Decanters

    Weiner and his wife need to concentrate on his addition issues and their Marriage, it takes more than 1 year to know if any addition has been controlled. It is amazing that this man has supporters for Mayer of NY, or any political office. Who is really the craziest here Anthony Wierner or the people wiling to vote for him.

    July 24, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  24. rdalton60

    So what happens now? Liberals vote him into power of course. Welcome to America, where character doesn't matter and everyone can't understand why the nation is collapsing before our very eyes.

    July 24, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. uncdig

    "she learned at the knees of Hillary Clinton"? Just like Monica learned at the knees of Bill? What good did that do Monica? Wake up Huma & people of New York – a tiger can't change his stripes. Weiner proved it after being called out in front of the world & resigned – he still was at it. Once a turd always a turd"

    July 24, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
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