July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
10 years 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. RoboKnuckle

    Not just questioning his judgement, but her's also. Must be she has some hidden issues. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

    July 24, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. JQP1122

    Challenge me on this, but you know the only reason he probably will not be re-elected is COOLNESS or lack thereof in his case. See Bill Clinton had more than his fair share of personal failings but he exuded coolness. And in our need it ow, fast food, celebrity obsessed culture coolness rules the day. Anthony is a bit geeky, has a last name ripe for the late night talk show hosts and uses fake names that are even more laughable (ie: Carlos Danger) when he looks as far from dangerous as you can get. So again I say, he could have gotten away with all of this and been re-elected if he exuded coolness but he has committed the most unforgivable sin, he became an embarrassment and in today's media obssessed culture, that is the sin that you cannot come back from.

    July 24, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. ricardo1968

    He appears to have a lack of control. When this behavior has already forced you out of office, you do it again? Quit politics, and you can do it all you like. He can't have both worlds, and his little brain is calling the shots for the big brain. I wouldn't vote for him.

    July 24, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  4. Rocky

    "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" WAIT...this woman with such poor judgement "advises" Hillary Clinton what to do? Seriously? If she has such poor judgement in staying married to Carlos Danger, what type of advising is she giving? Hillary you need to stay away from this one.

    July 24, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  5. Mike V

    The Good Wife

    July 24, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Diana

    I think the NY Times said it all...

    July 24, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. naimed12

    Why is this even an issue?!

    And why is this anyone's business?!

    Typical puritanical and self righteous Americans...

    Look at these comments...amazing.

    How is anyone's personal sex life an issue or the business of others?!


    Self righteous jerks ALL..

    So he got lonely, so he had online chat....sure you self righteous twits will either deny or call it perverse, but humans are sexual creatures.

    Perhaps we should ask all of you, men AND women how often you masturbate or watch p0rn in a week's time?

    In fact, exactly....I don't care and nor should anyone else.

    July 24, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Dorthy

    It's truly a nice and helpful piece of info. I'm satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

    July 24, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. HM8432

    Of course she's staying with him like her BFF Hillary did with Bill. Their men are their ticket to political power!

    July 24, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    I hope it doesn't take until election night for Mr. Weiner to figure out that he's *not* going to win the race.

    July 24, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. les

    So, if it weren't for the internet, he would be exposing himself on the subway or in his car; an exhibitionist. And it will happen again.

    July 24, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |

    Get rid of private arena and do whatever you want!

    July 24, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Larry in Houston

    so this guy makes the same mistake, over & over ? So, what if you were an HR Mgr ? and you were interviewing 'ol weiner ? and you know & find out that this guy you are interviewing, makes the same mistakes, over & over & over ? So, would YOU Hire him ?? think about it . We'll see if N.Y.ers will re-hire this guy, when the votes come in. I know one thing, If he worked for me, and after I found out that he made the same mistakes over & over & over again, he wouldn't last long. And his wife ? She wants to stay in the relationship for one reason, & one reason only. It's all about the money / perks / benefits, believe me.
    At Least Bill Clinton LEARNED from his mistake. This guy, well, I suppose everybody has their own opinion.

    July 24, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Corey

    I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

    July 24, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Spitball

    Not only is he an accurate reflection of all that is now totally acceptable in your society today, he seems well qualified to hold public office, and even the presidency! America should be proud that this new moral compass is consistent with where you are heading. WEINER FOR PRESIDENT!!!

    July 24, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. disgusted

    He wants to be a leader in government???
    Wake up people. Do not. Repeat. Do not vote for him.

    July 24, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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