July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
12 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. helcat in summerville

    The worst part about his behavior is he is no different than most politicians in America. Look at Mark Sanford from SC! He just got ELECTED as a representative.

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Marc L

    The problem is not that Weiner is doing these things. That is between him and his wife. The problem is the false contrition, the fake apologies, and the lying. A big problem for me is the complete lack of shame he should be feeling for such personal, embarrassing information to be made public.

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    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.
    ---------------–
    And why is it just now coming out? Because he is just now coming out from under the rock that he's been hiding under. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Whatever Weiner has done to rehabilitate his image since he resigned from the House has been woefully inadequate. This stuff should have come out long ago, but it waited for his return to the public eye. One does not rehabilitate their image by resurfacing and running for public office. Sorry, to be so bruttally honest, Anthony.

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Tony

    Since he is a Democrat, this will enhance his resume.

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Drake

    Who cares...this Democrat has a new name for our racist President though. President Payback.
    So he proved Friday that he really does have an axe to grind with whites. What a hypocrite.
    I guess that I could speak of me and many of my friends experiences with young black men too. You know the part where we were robbed at gunpoint....
    This phoney has divided our country way more than Bush and I didn't think that was possible.

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. wheels

    If your name is what it is... you just cant make these mistakes...the jokes are just too easy

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Guest

    What Spitzer did was a felony under a law he singed as governor of New York. Why wasn't he ever prosecuted? If he was, he would be barred from seeking public office forever.

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. coderjones

    Typical american politician

    July 23, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. Keep in your pants

    Washington D.C. elected a crackhead. Let New York elect a deviant! AIN'T AMERICA GRAND?!

    July 23, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Mike

    "thedailyheard

    I am of the opinion that if this woman is going to "leak" these texts messages or pictures, she should NOT be able to do it anonymously. She is just as culpable as he was. And her compliance with the affair doesn't end because she now wants fame."

    How can you want fame and want to remain anonymous at the same time?

    July 23, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  11. Alex

    Do you people actually read the article. David, these are events that happened in 2011. They are not new and he has already said there were more pictures when he resigned in 2011. What does it say about new yorkers if he gets re-elected, they dont care what he did in his personal life as long as he does a good job. Same reason south carolina elected sanford again

    July 23, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  12. NB

    This guy just needs to "retire"...from publicity...quietly...

    July 23, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  13. Az

    soo, New Yorker's believe that a leopard can change its spots? Politicians never lie? He looks ok so he MUST be OK?

    When are voters going to be as thorough at qualifying politicians as they are at qualifying a baby sitter for their child??

    July 23, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. frank

    it is not about the pictures or the text messages...it is about the LIES!!!!!!!
    how can anyone vote for a person like this.....how can we have voters this ignorant and stupid????

    July 23, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. dubrats

    wow, did clinton admit he did wrong? or kennedy?...or is it just the rep. that have to keep saying it and where is cnn's articles on that?....oh wait....fair and balanced...um ya right.

    July 23, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. CatHerder

    Why would the citizens of New York elect this man, who has demonstrated on more than one occasion his poor judgement?

    July 23, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. JJ

    the epitome of the Democratic Party

    July 23, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. kenman

    I agree with the others on here who say it won't stop New Yorkers from voting for the corrupt pervert! So, New York deserves him and all the shame that goes along with him.

    July 23, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. NYer

    He obviously has a problem and he has not dealt with it....running for office should be the last thing in his mind.

    July 23, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. atkoa

    Weiner is another democrat/pig. The democrats and NYC deserve him.

    July 23, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. DC Johnny

    Wow, the crazies are out in force today.

    I, for one, loathe just about everything this political hack has done in his career. But you people need to read the story and comprehend it before you write your little jabs.

    He did not continue his behavior. These are additional messages and photos from his previous actions, which were withheld presumably to be used later in a hurtful way.

    Try reading before you embarrass our point of view any more than our RINO leaders do themselves.

    July 23, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  22. Mark

    The guy is a pervert plain and simple.

    July 23, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  23. DJS NJ

    What really has me concerned is what is wrong with New Yorkers!? He was/is actually leading in the polls? I dont care about his personal redemption... Good for him if he moves on... But he clearly has BAD JUDGEMENT issues... and NY voters are going to give him... and spitzer... thier votes?.... get a clue NY

    July 23, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. nuntukamen

    An ethical idiot it would seem. And extremely egotistical and ultra-selfish. Maybe he should just switch Parties and get it over with.

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  25. Political Season

    I can honestly say I positively don't care. Especially since his wife and he have or are working all that out. I can't vote for him or against him, I don't live in NY. But it would not surprise me if New Yorkers really don't care that much either.

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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