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. PuzzledInPeoria

    Okay, so it's time to go away now and quit pretending you're fit to lead us.

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. lolo

    @ Peter North if Weiner was a Republican he would be voted back into office just like Sanford the man who left his state for a piece of tail. A leopard does not change their spots. This man can not be trusted, just like Sanford but the Republicans voted him back in. You are such a hypocrit just like the rest of the GOP/TP KKK Klan.

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Haha

    Yea the right is known for their high character, high profile politicians...Cough Newt cough! Stop posting teabaggers.

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Namejoe

    Another story to distract u from real issues like Benghazi, corruption in DC etc. the REAL issues.

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Josh

    DIdn't know that sending messages like that is a big deal. If thats the case i owe a lot of people apologizes

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. creed

    Seriously?? This clown is the best there is in New York City?

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. heywood

    Id elect him before Spitzer. If New York elects Spitzer they would elect Jerry Sandusky as the school board chairman.

    July 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. censored

    I thank he has figured New York voters out and he will be a shoo in.

    July 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. RZA

    If DC could elect a mayor that smoked crack I don't believe it is far fetched to think this guy will be elected mayor of NYC.

    July 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. Laverne

    This Weiner is done! There are other ways to serve besides being in public office, umm like working at Denny's!!!

    July 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. GQ

    It's a hormone thing... he has too much hormone than his wife can handle

    July 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. IS

    Oh, don't give me this crap about Dems and hypocrisy. SC just elected a cheater to the Senate.

    July 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. tj

    . . . . immoral leaders, bribery, hypocrisy, apathetic citizens - yup, fall of Rome all over again - China: New Superpower

    July 23, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Quixote

    The parties are not equally corrupt, but individuals within in them certainly are. Time for weiner to go. He is no sanford, pr vitter......

    July 23, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. wally

    Steve says "Yet again Dem's hypocrisy and double standard showing. It's scary to think Dem's are the majority in the country but also not surprising they elect leaders with no morals...birds of a feather."

    ---

    Uh Steve, I think you will find that it is not the Democrats that campaign on "Family Values" only to find they only mean other people's values. Don't get me wrong, this guy is a class-A d-bag, but you really ought to give us a break from the hypocrisy talk before Sanford in SC gets wind of your gibber.

    July 23, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Dave in DC

    Switch parties to the dark side nuntukamen? But I thought he was already a democrat?

    July 23, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. qazoo

    I just read a comment on another forum concerning this charater and it was mention that with the millions of able people we do we Americans constantly recycle these people into politics. We got a government made up of recycled trash, for lack of a better description.

    July 23, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Drew

    Why don't they vote for an honest, moral Republican? You know, like Newt Gingrich, Sanford, Herman Cain, Schwarzenegger...

    July 23, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. deeceeuci

    Who cares? It's his personal life. As long as his job or politics aren't effected. He's not the first that will cheat and he won't be the last, stop acting as though he set fire to an orphanage.

    July 23, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. Ryan

    @uncleric

    There has to be better candidates than this guy. Is that the best New York can do for Mayor? Sure, we can not hold it against him, but what if he were a High School Principal? Would you let him return to the school? You'd probably agree with me that there is someone else who can do the job better with better integrity.

    July 23, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. Sussay

    Weenie knows its wrong, but can't seem to help himself. Vote for Quinn!

    July 23, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. alba

    anyone that posts a message, mixing this or any message while referring to a political party .. libs, liberals, dems, democrats, etc .. is ignorant .. hateful, bigoted .. and dangerous

    July 23, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Nick Mordowanec

    With a name like Weiner I expect nothing less.

    July 23, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. GomerPyle

    They'll vote for him regardless....just watch.

    July 23, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. It's me in Chi-town

    I think it's wrong to label this as a Dem or Rep problem with these politicians. They're corrupt, power hungry and lack morals. Most of them. There are exceptions on both sides. Let's judge the individual behind the action and not stereo-type. Just my opinion.

    July 23, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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