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. anna

    He didnt learn from his first mistake – put him on an island and forget about him


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

    He's a Democrat and Democrats are low life losers.

    July 23, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Bruce Eder

    Well, he's now shown that he's professionally suicidal - and unelectable.

    July 23, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. chilly g

    i was going to support this guy but it appear that after he resign from office he continue to do the samethings
    he resign for, so this guy is all bad, bad bad

    July 23, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. FallORome

    He's perfect for congress and will fit right in.

    July 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. hemusbull

    This guy should give us a break...What a idiot!

    July 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. John

    Anyone who votes for this guy, Republican or Democrat, is a fool. He resigned, then was doing the same thing a year later? And some of his texts and photos went to underage girls.

    If you're even thinking of voting for him, I think you need to ask yourself if you have any standards at all.

    July 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. DarrellSF

    I think he should have told people up front when he announced his run for Mayor if he suspected more information from his past would be leaked out in an effort to discredit him. Say that you've apologized for your past, but people still want to hurt you and make money off this. Then let the people of New York have their say.

    The main problem with this man, and why he would be dangerous for NYC, is that HE DOESN'T project into the future. He didn't think about posting pics of himself and what that would do to his career THEN, and he didn't think what new revelations would do to him NOW.

    Does NYC really need a mayor who can't think past the current need for instant gratification?

    July 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. adam

    "Just my opinion". That's a real problem today. We have this sense that everything is just a matter of opinion. Some things are and are not.

    Do some searching instead of saying "I think". Stop clouding every issue with what might be's and narrow your focus to what is. Evidence based decision making is the only way to save this country. Keep going with your false instincts and we will end up with more of these clowns.

    July 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. K. Owe

    He's taking his preoccupation with his surname a bit too literally. If you don't want your business "out in the street", then get out of public service roles and get a REAL job. Perhaps running the Bunny Ranch would suit him. #FAIL!

    July 23, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Nance

    I thought it was against the law to expose yourself. How could a person vote for someone who should be in prison. This is not about a man cheating on his wife, this is against the law.

    July 23, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. TomGI

    How can voters considering Weiner convince themselves he is the best choice? I can't understand that at all.

    July 23, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Gee

    He is a lying sack and the only reason he is running for another public office is because he has no skills and living off the tax payer's dime is the only thing he knows...

    July 23, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Just Saying

    It is obvious that this man lacks good judgment, has blurred boundries and some serious personal issues. Bottom line – he is not trustworthy nor the person to be out representing anyone's interests until he gets his own issues under control! He needs to get his head on straight and then worry about what to do for a living.

    July 23, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. Tom

    What I can't figure out is how any women can stand the sight of him. HE'S UGLY!

    July 23, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. Timothy M

    What Weiner does with his personal life is his own business (and his wife's). However, how the hell can we trust this guy with the mayor's office when it's clear that he not only lied the first time around, but didn't learn his lesson? He has clearly betrayed his wife and his supporters. It would not surprise me if this duplicity extends to other areas of his life. Although I am a New Yorker, he isn't going to get my vote for mayor. Get this man the hell away from politics.

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

    Pretty sure this kind of stuff has nothing to do with party affiliating.

    July 23, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Bubba Ray

    Hey c'mon, all he has to do is praise Jesus and ask forgiveness for his sins. That's how it works for Republicans isn't it? He'll be back in office quicker than you can say "Argentina".

    July 23, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. bluemalak

    Nobody cares. The point is, he's running for political office, and common sense would indicate that he's not going to win. I don't care if he's conservative or liberal, if he can't stay faithful to his wife, why would he be considered a good choice as mayor? Deceitful people don't confine their deceit to the marriage bed and while no politicians are trustworthy, at least we can pretend with some, can't even do that with him.

    July 23, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. cheddarbob

    Are you kidding me, this guy lead, heck no. He obviously is using his platform for personal reasons, not to do whats right and expected. This is a position the tax payers cover, if you're ok paying for this kind of action on your dime – be my guest i'm not in. Secondly, if you or I were to do something of the same in a private company we'd be fired immediately for going against the company code of ethics, this should be no different. He can go out like the rest of us and find a job somewhere else. Let another person who is willing to abide by the rules of conduct now have the chance to be see/ heard. LOSER, last name says it all!

    July 23, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. mookie1972

    Oh, give him a break. How many times can you forgive this pervert? Hey, I've got an idea. Let's give this guy who can't even act like a respectable human being the key to the mayor's office of the City of New York.

    July 23, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Kennedy

    Must see TV – Saturday Night Live (Wiener exposed)

    July 23, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. ShawnDH

    Good grief. What a perv!

    July 23, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. brian

    weiner is a tool.. he needs help. he shouldn't even be employed by dairy queen.

    July 23, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. Pander Bear

    Go away Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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