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. Spits her Weiner

    Both Spitzer and Weiner have clearly proven that they can't hack it in the real world, so any surprise that they are back looking for a cushy public sector gig?

    July 23, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Mike in Denver

    If we judge our greatest leaders on something so trivial as whether or not the cheated on their wife, then the US wouldn't have many presidents, the UK not many PMs, and Hitler would still be touted as the best world leader ever.

    July 23, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "they did occur in 2012, according to this article."

    No. Lemme fix that for you:

    They occurred in 2012, according to the accusations of an unidentified/anonymous person who provided images of Tweets to TheDirty.com which published them with the timestamps clearly removed.

    July 23, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. us_1776

    Goodbye Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. ugh

    here's a man with loose moral boundaries who clearly can't learn his lesson after slipping up under a national spotlight. anyone that votes for him must be deluded to think he'll actually get anything done. or be able to fix his mistakes.

    July 23, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. No Return To The Beame Era

    Still voting for him. Don't want Quinn in, or else we'll have an emasculated police department and we'll be back to the days of "Fort Apache: The Bronx".

    July 23, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. jod

    "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 woman last summer, a year after Weiner resigned. CNN has not independently confirmed the messages."

    CNN cleverly hid the important development here: her continued tipi have lewd conversations with young women A YEAR AFTER he resigned from Congress in shame. You'd think he learned, but obviously he hasn't....

    July 23, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. LVSam

    You just can't make this stuff up.

    July 23, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. J Robinson

    The arrogance of these egotistical pigs is truly monumental. And people seem to reward them for it.

    July 23, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Tom

    CNN does what it does best and that is to carry water for the Republican Party. This is old news. Conservative News Network hard at work doing what Republicans want which is holding Democrats to a higher standard than hypocritical Republicans. I remember Gingrich saying he would not let a day go by without reminding America of Clintons scandal all the while privately cheating on his wife with the woman he is married to now!! So keep on carrying water for the Republicans CNN. It is as usual obfuscation.

    July 23, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Danny M

    Oh, the looney left. And the arrogance.

    July 23, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. tullymd

    Come, hear me out. This is a stain on the American voter. Can't we find people for office who are free of character disorder?

    July 23, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. MalcolmTex

    I get the impression that these exchanges occurred AFTER his resignation etc.

    July 23, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  14. Charles Peligro

    Danger? Danger is my ... last name.

    July 23, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. stacy100

    He did this stuff over a year after he left office. I think this guy needs more therapy and his wife needs to show him the door.

    July 23, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. JamVee@hotmail.com

    What I don't understand is this . . . Can't Wiener or Spitzer find a job, or another way to make a living, that doesn't require approval from the voting public?

    What the hell is wrong with them? How can they possibly expect us to forget their massive stupidity? In fact, why should we? Do they have something so especially valuable to us that nobody else can provide . . . ? Like. maybe, making an important decision that isn't related to their penis?

    July 23, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. anony

    HOW does this guy think he's a stud?
    He looks like your accountant.
    He should be writing fiction for Penthouse.

    July 23, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Stand Your Ground

    Guys are losing their cool everywhere. It's just like the axe body spray commercial. The real issue is that women are getting hotter and hotter.

    July 23, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. CNN is biased

    Its not so much the lurid acts. Its the extremely stupid decisions he has made to do these things. How could anyone (voters) trust him ever again.

    July 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. straighttalk

    Spitzer and Weiner are two people we do not need. Once in office, they will continue with this stuff and think they will not get caugth. These two guys lack moral character and should find a job in Mexico.

    July 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. rs

    We all know that most politicians are filthy immoral scoundrels..Who really cares any more. It's every person for themselves and whatever we can get away with.Just like our so-called leaders.

    July 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Gary Jaussaud

    In my view Mr. Weiner is probably closer to the normal when it comes to standard behavior in Washington DC, he just
    happend to get caught. You will notice most in Washingon inside the beltway are really quiet, because they know they could
    be next, not all but I am sure some are worried.

    July 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. JP

    Why don't these guys just GO AWAY

    July 23, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Shameful

    If he can't conduct his behavior; how in the world is he going to behave in public office, the American People are looking for strong responsible individuals who have family values in place in their own homes! Save you vote, New York!

    July 23, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. chris janes

    Frontrunner in the mayoral race? Aren't there quality candidates, anywhere, in a city of 10 million? The democratic machine supports this online pervert? Why? Because his wife works for Hillary (yet another doormat). No big surprise, actually. Mayor Barry got re-elected after smoking crack while in office. Joke!

    July 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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