August 12th, 2013
09:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Weiner says scandal hurt wife 'professionally'; knows 2016 Clinton role

(CNN) - Anthony Weiner said Monday he believes his sexting scandals have damaged his wife's career and seemingly dropped a hint about Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 presidential plans.

In a wide-ranging interview with BuzzFeed's Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith that was livestreamed exclusively on the "CNN BuzzFeed" channel on YouTube, Weiner also revealed that he's still in therapy but did not give further details on the frequency of his sessions.

Anthony Weiner's interview: The top moments

The New York City mayoral hopeful was frank in his answers about his recent admission that he continued sending lewd messages to women after the same habit forced his 2011 congressional resignation. His wife, Huma Abedin, famously spoke up for her husband at a news conference last month as he confirmed reports that he had engaged in online relationships as recently as last year.

'It's hurt her'

Abedin has long been a senior adviser and friend to Hillary Clinton. Asked Monday if he believes his actions may have negatively affected his wife's ties with the Clintons, Weiner said that he hasn't spoken with either Bill or Hillary Clinton in months, but he thinks his decisions have impacted his wife's career.

"I feel that what I've done has hurt her, yeah. It's hurt her professionally. It's hurt her personally," he said. "We made a decision that these things were behind us and we made a calculated gamble on the question of whether or not citizens would be more interested in their family's future than in my personal failings that are behind me. She's gotten roughed up, and it's been completely unfair in my view."

The Clintons grew "livid" over Weiner's July admission, anger that stemmed from their personal relationship with Abedin, a source told CNN last month.

While the Clintons have largely declined to publicly weigh in on the mayoral race, Bill Clinton told CNN he and his wife are "a hundred miles from that race" as long as their personal friends are involved. He was referring to other candidates, in addition to Weiner and his wife.

Weiner mocks British reporter

Nevertheless, Weiner said Abedin is still working on the campaign as she takes a break from working for Hillary Clinton, though he didn't go into great detail about her duties on the campaign trail.

Asked whether he knows what role she will have "in Hillary's 2016 campaign," Weiner said, "I do."

"What will it be?" Smith asked.

"I'm not telling you," Weiner replied, hinting that something may be in the works for a presidential bid.

What about Snapchat?

Weiner has previously talked about seeking treatment for his habit of exchanging raunchy messages with women and confirmed Monday he was still in therapy.

"Apparently you never go out of therapy. They just have this thing where you just remain in forever, but I still see a therapist sometimes," he said.

As for the frequency, Weiner did not give an exact account, saying he sees his therapist when he can, but argued it was "tough on the campaign trail."

Weiner's first TV ad: 'Powerful voices' against him

Sydney Leathers, the 23-year-old Indiana native who went public with her former relationship with Weiner, has taken full advantage of her moment in the spotlight, agreeing to nude photo shoots and tweeting out promoted messages.

She has also been highly critical of Weiner, saying he is lying about the last time the two communicated. While he has repeatedly said the sexual activity is in his past and last took place a year ago, she claims the two were last in touch in April of this year.

Weiner did not deny the April date, saying Monday that he sent her platonic messages but nothing inappropriate.

"I treated her like a friend," he said, adding they hadn't exchanged the lewd messages for a year.

Asked why Weiner did not use a messaging application called Snapchat - where messages and photos are deleted shortly after received - the mayoral candidate said: "I don't have a good answer to that."

Weiner: Ideas not getting across

In the lengthy interview, Weiner said he felt the coverage of his mayoral campaign has been "brutal" and argued the media has focused more on his scandal that the substantive messages he's trying to relay.

Weiner still toward back of pack, according to poll

But the candidate, who has vowed to stay in the race, said he's trying to demonstrate his ability "to stand up to do the tough things" - a quality he believes New Yorkers want in their mayor.

"For whatever my failings are, and they've been very public, I think I've shown that I don't back down very easily," he said, saying he hasn't canceled events or media interviews in light of his new admission in July.

Weiner maintained he was laser-focused on winning the race, despite recent poll numbers that show he has dropped behind three other Democratic contenders in the September 10 primary.

"I really do believe that I am the only person occupying this one lane in this race that is someone trying to construct this campaign in a different way," he said. Weiner added that he hasn't thought about what he'll do if he loses, as it's "not something you think about in the midst of a campaign you expect to win."

Driving the Gray Lady nuts

Weiner spent significant time bashing on one particular news outlet, The New York Times.

"The New York Times, wait for it, doesn't want me to win," he said. "Their heads are exploding over the idea."

While the New York Times Magazine published a lengthy profile about Weiner in April as he was privately gearing up for a campaign, the newspaper wrote an editorial in late July calling on the candidate to drop out of the race.

"I don't have fealty to them. I'm not treating a New York Times endorsement as an end to itself," Weiner said. "I don't care ... And it makes them nuts that I don't care."

Asked whether he thinks owner Arthur Sulzberger has a problem with Weiner, the Democrat said he couldn't pick Sulzberger "out of a lineup."

"He's alive right? That would be bad if he wasn't," he added.

Weiner also poked fun at BuzzFeed. Responding to a question about Weiner's relationship with comedian and "Daily Show" host John Stewart, the candidate said: "You can do this or show videos of cats–whatever it is you do at BuzzFeed."

Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Winston Smith

    She must be a saint, or among the few in the running for the position. But most of all is her ability to stand by the stain on the American quilt, and not be ashamed. She's either one hell of a woman, or she's greedier than hell and wants access to the office as bad as he wants it.

    August 12, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  2. Carmelle

    Weiner and the Mayor of San Diego obviously are mentally ill. Run Huma run.

    August 12, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Art

    Weiner to BuzzFeed: "I'm still in therapy."

    Voting Public: "Thanks; you should be. Bye"

    Now drop out please.

    August 12, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    Sick of this in California.

    August 12, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  5. BritHawk

    Not only is this guy sick, he is also completely out of touch with reality. I hope he does not have access to firearms.

    August 12, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  6. Dixie

    Naturally his wife is hurt. This fool can't see he was unfathfull to her. He only cares how this mess effects him. His wife should have seen a lawyer when she found out he didn't stop and therapy doesn't seem to help him. Part of change is admitting the problem you have.

    August 12, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  7. Kimo

    this ia a person I wouldn't trust, want as a friend, or have my child over at his house. A jerk of the highest order.

    August 12, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  8. MesaMax

    Gee, I wonder who he will blame. I mean, obvously, he will not blame himself.

    August 12, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  9. lww

    He needs his head examined...

    August 13, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  10. PB

    Drop out Anthony. Stop torturing your wife in public.

    August 13, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  11. Wallaceboy

    So, is NYC a little slow? If this guy gets more than 1% of the vote, what are we to think. Come on.....the real world knows you are liberal and don't have to work...all that stuff. but come on.......First Barry the left and now this guy? Are you folks out of it? ...

    August 13, 2013 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  12. Harry Cline

    The last refuge of a scoundrel in modern times in now rehab.

    August 13, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  13. Thomas

    Kinda full of himself !

    kinda ?

    August 13, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  14. justininrome

    too bad his treatment isnt inpatient

    August 13, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  15. govwatch63

    "I'm not telling you."
    "I don't have a good answer to that."
    "I don't have fealty..." (fealty = fidelity, faithfulness)
    "I don't care."
    "I am the only person....trying to construct this campaign in a different way..."

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    August 13, 2013 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  16. liberal disease

    liberals and therapy a booming industry.They think they some how change the brains of these sick demented minds, just like they think they can control the earths temperature.

    August 13, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  17. Aaron

    So the Clintons were livid that Weiner was repeatedly unfaithful to his wife and seemed to be unable to stop even after being caught. Hmmmm...

    August 13, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  18. natasha M.

    Clearly it's time for this person to put the shovel down and stop burying himself and his wife's political future.

    August 13, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  19. yoshimoto

    Sexting is one thing and really its a private thing. But this man is dangerous – he has shown he will do anything to get elected. This guy will cut deals that will hurt new yorkers. dont vote for him.

    August 13, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  20. leah

    Old non- news story there. And Anthony Weiner still remains one sick stooge.

    August 13, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  21. are122

    Somehow the Weiners and Clintons seem to fit together.

    August 13, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  22. mcwreiole

    Why is the media still giving this creep air time? Interest in him can only be lascivious and I would think the serious media would have bigger fish to fry.

    August 13, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  23. kirk

    Cat videos, awesome.well at least he still has a sense or humor

    August 13, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. T

    .Mr Obvious strikes again.......

    August 13, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. littljohnny

    This guy is clueless as to how sick he is.

    August 13, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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