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. Fair is Fair

    "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 women last summer, a year after Weiner resigned."
    Forced to resign his job as a U.S. Rep, and a year later still acting like a perv. Clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but oh so perfect for mayor of NYC.

    July 23, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Government waste rules

    What a useless schmuck.

    July 23, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. danno

    What a wiener !!

    July 23, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Demigod Vadik, CA

    He must be getting ready to run again, so came clean...

    ...I always liked Weiner... (yeah sounds funny but so what, its ok to be gay)....

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

    Sounds like the typical democrat to me 😉


    July 23, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Mr. Flibble

    Weiner just can't keep his Weiner in his pants.

    July 23, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. BOB

    Who in their right mind would vote for this man? Oh yeah, he is a democrat from NY almost forgot.

    July 23, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Federico Escobedo

    This confirms it, New Yorkers are totally crazy, especially if we find out tomorrow that Wiener has increased his lead in the polls.

    July 23, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Juan Ulloa

    Cant keep his weiner in his pants...

    July 23, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. doctorstrangeluv

    At the very least, Weiner is consistant ! Something we desperately need in Washington

    July 23, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. SameOld

    Keep that Wiener under control, will you?

    July 23, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. Marlou Ordelt

    Weiner is a weiner....

    July 23, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. Federico Escobedo

    And tomorrow, we will find that the brilliant people of New York will increase Wiener's lead in the polls.

    July 23, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Mustard Spread

    Relish the thought. Its all bout to boil over. Hog Dog

    July 23, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. carlos

    We still love you Weiner,

    July 23, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. rosaadriana

    What an idiot but who cares. They re elected a known adulterer in South Carolina recently. If the right wing evangelicals don't care why should I.

    July 23, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Helios

    Thank god for some other news to divert CNN from its obsession with the royal baby.

    July 23, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Smarg

    Perfect for New Yorkers!

    July 23, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Bill Lomee

    The guy's a sleazebag with no morals.People just don't get like that and certainly just don't change like that.

    July 23, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. teamski

    I firmly believe that any politician that resigns from a post due to any act that reflects poorly on his or her character should be banned from any office for life. We want people that are accountable and responsible. We don't want Weiners and Sandfords in office. Stupid are the people who do.

    July 23, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. ThisOneToo

    Caught with his Weiner in the cookie jar again.

    July 23, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Bumble Bee

    Such a very sick individual. Please keep all children away from this ugly creep.

    July 23, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Alex Schmidt

    Leave the guy alone! He is a politician after all so why are we holding him to such high standards...

    July 23, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Brad

    This Weiner just can't keep it in his pants.

    July 23, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Confused

    So what part of "why are you running" don't you understand? It seems to be Mr Wiennie can not keep his wiennie in his pants, and also wants to run for an office? As a Republican? Go Home Mr Wienner and forget pol-ticks

    July 23, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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