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.

PHOTOS: Top 10 political comebacks

Spitzer, Weiner and why New York is talking about sex

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Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (1,191 Responses)
  1. Zil

    Get some help!

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

    What CNN isn't reporting: the timestamps were edited out of the images.

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

    Anthony Weiner and marital infidelities? Well when Bill Clinton officiates your wedding ceremony...

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

    "TheDirty.com"? Hahaha. So will we be angrily debating William and Kate's fitness to be parents once The Enquirer publishes a story about how they secretly "terminated" the newborn's sister about 2 months ago because she was in position to be born first?

    What? It's not true? Say it isn't so!

    July 23, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Bliss

    Enough is enough!

    July 23, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Kvan

    Good Lord Weiner put it away already! Nobody wants to buy what you're selling. Ps. Gonzo called he wants his face back.

    July 23, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Joyce

    He can't run for public office again, too many secrets – well not so secret anymore. What a shame because he was doing a good job as a congressman. But I don't think trust could really be earned back. Not with all new info coming out.

    July 23, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Is that all you've got?

    Is New York running out of politicians? With Weiner and Spitzer both back begging for jobs it would appear so. Let's give someone new a chance. These 2 should step aside.

    July 23, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Wow. It's amazing how far the right wing will run with an unconfirmed rumor from a web site with a questionable reputation.

    July 23, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Michael

    The people who keep condemning this man the loudest are the same ones who treat Newt Gingrich like the paragon of virtue. Disgusting hypocrites, the whole lot of 'em.

    July 23, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Natrldiver

    Wow New York is full of tyrants and pervs. Wasn't the gestapo of Germany during WWII the same way?

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

    While these latest comments aren't BRAND new, they did occur in 2012, according to this article. Weiner resigned in 2011. So he couldn't control himself 2011-12, but could in 2012-13.

    Whatever. You're unfit for public service, Weiner.

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

    Huma his wife, daughter of active Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, high level aid to Hilary in the States Dept. has put up with him with his indiscretion and his ethnicity of Jewish descent, and not rejected by her devout Muslim family. That makes me wonder what is really going on. Imagine the door being cracked open wider for the Muslim community to expand their foothold in NY and US in establishing their Sharia laws and their influences, if Weiner has the powerful position in NY.

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

    At this point I don't see the significance in giving this "Breaking News" coverage. The man currently carries no political seat in congress, thus making him a regular civilian. Why is what he does important anymore? It was an issue when he was a representative, but now I don't see the point in pursuing his "habits" any further.

    It's the same way that things Sarah Palin does are considered news despite she no longer has a voice in our government.

    There are more important things to be talking about.

    July 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. oh for pete's sake

    Weiner: you're an 1diot. Just face that. Get out of the spotlight (well, get out of the edge of the spotlight). You're little Weiner is making the decisions for the rest of you. And they're bad decisions. And yet you seem to think that these things won't be discovered, in spite of the fact you're running for public office. Clearly you're just shtoopid. Find a nice, quiet, anonymous job somewhere, give your soon-to-be-ex-wife half your stuff, find yet another brainless woman to diddle and move on.

    July 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. The Situation

    LOL! What a loser!

    July 23, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. sandra

    This guy is a politician through and through.... only in America would we even consider him a possible option for any office, not because he is a cheating weirdo, but because he can't even hide his fetishes. It takes a certain kind of deviance to succeed in politics, but this guy pushes it all past the limits. His wife is obviously just in this marriage for the power. If she was in it for love she would have left him long ago! .... just disgusting!

    July 23, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Logic

    He was a wuss to lie and resign in the first place. Should have admitted it from the get go.It is not illegal. Too late to grow a pair now, boyo.

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

    Honestly, with a name like Weiner this was pretty much inevitable.

    July 23, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    this guy should go away. hes a clown

    July 23, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Wendy

    Why oh Why cant these politicians remain faithful during their elections ?? They waste a whole career that they more than likely have been striving for all their lives just to have a quick roll in the hay !! I will never understand that ...

    July 23, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. tobosbunny

    I honestly couldn't care less who any politician is shagging, who he/she did shag or if he/she wears a shag, cross-dresses or bakes a mean souffle!. All I care about is the important issues....like jobs maybe? The economy? Letting people live their lives happily? Not spying on us? Etc?

    July 23, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Sidney

    His wife is as bad as he is for staying with him. She is enabling and I would worry about the baby's safety.

    July 23, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. CJ Topspin

    Big deal. Why does the American public care about any of this? This is just dirty campaign tactics plain and simple.

    July 23, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. what do you expect

    clinton, weiner, spitzer all shameless and all aspiring votes from the stupid people who vote/ voted for them. Wake up America before its too late?
    It is probably too late.

    July 23, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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