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. Hedley Lamarr

    He's passing this off as "past behavior" that he has already served time for...I don't buy it. He adamantly lied and denied it the first time until hard evidence came out. We've likely only seen the tip of Mr. Weiner.

    Huma, gimme a call girl. I'll treat you right.

    July 23, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Askmehow

    Time to cut off Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Glauber

    When were these messages supposedly sent? Around the time he was sending pictures of his junk to a different woman, or is all of this since his big apology and re-entry into politics?
    -----------–
    from the article:

    "While Weiner did not reference the specific allegations Tuesday, screenshots of conversations and photographs appeared on a gossip website that are allegedly between Weiner and the woman last summer, a year after Weiner resigned. CNN has not independently confirmed the messages. "

    The news originated from a gossip web site named "TheDirty". Weiner says that they are the same pictures that had been tweeted more than a year earlier, but had not surfaced in the media in 2011.

    July 23, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Peoples State of Illinois

    what a nimrod.

    July 23, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. With an "E"

    If it is wrong to do, THEN STOP DOING IT.

    There, that was easy.

    July 23, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Dyan S

    "What I did was wrong."

    Again really? He obviously learned nothing.

    July 23, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Tim Smith

    If this moron gets elected as Mayor of New York, your city is providing a glimpse as to just how brain dead that city has become.

    July 23, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Jacob

    Carlos Danger....... I would stay away

    July 23, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. EastCoastMike

    If you're too stupid to keep your Weiner out of the headlines, how are you smart enough to be Mayor?

    July 23, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. holspark

    If more than 50 people vote for him, than NYC is so morally corrupt that it should be its own state. It would be just sooooo embarrasing.

    July 23, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Founder

    If this unethical clown, along with the liar, cheat and criminal Eliot Spitzer win; the fall of the American IQ to below room temperature levels will be complete. No matter the party, no matter the position; these buffoons continue to lie, deny, get caught, sit aside for a year, then run again. Is this the norm we should now expect? Whatever happened to ethics? Personal morals? Just plain common sense? And yet after all of these losers being re-elected to taxpayer funded posts, we sit back on our haunches and wonder why things are such a mess?

    A lack of common sense; not racial politics, not econmic downturns, will be the demise of the republic.

    July 23, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Irisher

    He's a fine Democrat! But not a class act like President Clinton.

    July 23, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. Jack

    Carlos Danger? BWA HAHA!

    July 23, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Ken

    CNN.....read your own headlines...it brings to mind a famous Simpsons quote..."Me fail english...thats unpossible"

    July 23, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. PileOfSteamingPolitician

    Running for office was wrong.

    July 23, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Nathan

    They are gonna re-elect horney weiner? Stupid yankees

    July 23, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Jacob

    Elect Howard Stern as Mayor. He is worth $500 million... New York can't go wrong....

    July 23, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Steve

    Weiners do tend to Spitzer all over the place when they get excited

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Will D

    As a Democrat I think he is a disgrace and should not be elected Dog Catcher, this is someone the Republicans would elect like Sanford or David Vitter!

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. Kevin B

    So.......you democrats were willing to "overlook" this guys past, just to get a democrat into office? Creepy, very creepy and sad....Not the candidate, but you guys the voters. Start thinking for yourselves, and not listing to the media. Your letting your country get away from you, and you don't even realize it.

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Rich

    It's funny to hear the radical right get "morally" upset with "Weiner" when they have so many "moral" skeletons in their closets. Frankly, the whole stupid morality chase on both sides is a diversion from discussing real issues. When will Americans grow up?

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. LVSam

    What
    an
    idiot.

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Uncle Sam

    Weiner does community service; he's Jerry Sandusky's pen pal.

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. brown

    Give the man a break. We all have done things we're not proud of.

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. MVHII

    How many politicians have committed extramarital affairs from both parties? The answer is many. Don't try and act like it's just a liberal thing, when it truly stems from POWER. Powerful people live by different rules. Just like movie stars who cheat on their husband or wife numerous times. These people simply play by a different set of rules. And, to be frank, in Europe this would be nothing. One could say if you don't have a mistress in politics, you're not doing it right.

    July 23, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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