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. apey_lady

    His nose is a wiener

    July 23, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Cheetahe

    If Clinton is still considered a great politician all over the country and the world and his wife who has been disgraced multiple times by her husband is still married to him and she is now running for President, why are you people surprised that this fruitcake may get elected mayor of New York.
    Countries and civilizations fall and rise by the quality of their citizens and their leaders. You vote for crooks and cheats and do not be surprised by their performance when they are running the country. They lie and get us into wars and give their supporters a free hand in stealing from you and me and the government.

    July 23, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. TonyGa

    The ladies love Weiner. He's going to be hard to beat and is looking like the next Mayor of NY.

    July 23, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Phil in the Blanks

    Weiner needs to hang it up literally. We don't need perverts in office – anywhere!

    July 23, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Uncle Sam

    Really, not important? I don't want my elected officials texting pictures of their organs to unknown people. I just find it rude and distasteful and shows very poor judgement.

    July 23, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  6. JIm10973

    Who cares. As if we didn't know that politicians are just as messed up as regular citizens.....he can be as freaky as he wants as long as it doesn't interfere with doing his job.

    July 23, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. sidb1980

    As if anyone cares. He'll still get elected.

    July 23, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. John B

    I enjoyed a post by anDemocrat stating that he wishes Weiner is elected so that "personal indiscretions" cannot be used to eliminate a candidate from office. Personal indiscretions? Why is it that perverse behavior by Democrats actually enhances their resume and fitness for political office? Again, why is it a Democrat can be an pervert or murderer such as Ted Kennedy and still be fit for office? I feel such pity for the wife of Anthony Weiner but she seems to be tolerant of her husband just like Hillary was tolerant of her husbands stupidity while he was President. The only criteria for a Democrat to hold office is that they support liberal policies and causes. If they are a pervert or guilty of negligent homicide as in the case of Ted Kennedy, then those are "indiscretions" and are to be overlooked.

    July 23, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. liberal disease

    he is like a young Bill Clinton..if he plays his cards right, he will be the head of the democratic party after Bill Kicks!

    July 23, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Kona

    The guy just can't keep it in his pants! I don't know why his wife is sticking around after all she's been through.

    July 23, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Mancee Grayce

    Wow. What an idiot. And this is the best the GOP has to offer?

    July 23, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. seriously

    what an epic moron. Did he learn nothing the first time this happened? Apparently not. MORON!!!

    July 23, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Would be nice if the American public had the wherewithal to expect that accusations be substantiated. The timestamps were not in the images. All this is, so far, is unsubstantiated accusations on a tabloid website. If it turns out he did stuff after the scandal that caused him to leave office, then yeah, what a complete imbecile. But if these texts end up being from before that...and we don't know that they aren't because the timestamps were removed...then this is just a tabloid milking some convenient images. Point is, WE DON'T KNOW YET.

    July 23, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Marc L

    I think it shows that he did not learn a lesson. How sorry could he have really been after the first time?

    July 23, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. 6speed

    I want everyone in NYC to know that since polls show Weiner aka Carlos Danger is in the lead for mayor......
    We're laughing at you not with you.

    July 23, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Se'Kwester

    By gosh, all he needs is his own Mary Jo and he'll inherit Ted Kennedy's mantle!

    July 23, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. mddledebo

    I feel sorry for his wife. What couples decide is between them, but what New Yorkers have to decide is if they want someone who exhibits poor judgment as their leader.

    July 23, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Corey

    His online name is Carlos Danger? LMFAO

    July 23, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Rudy

    A truly Sleazebag who dares to insult a city by asking to be elected mayor

    July 23, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. jetfuel4

    Look....he's very proud of his Weiner and just wants to make sure everyone gets to see it....hahahahahaa

    July 23, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. Jez

    If ANYONE is not bright enough to understand the potential repercussions of sending lewd images out over the internet, they are not bright enough to lead, or be in politics. But at this rate, if we got rid of all of the buffons, Capital Hill would be a ghost town.

    July 23, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Dr. Ros

    LOL....all those repubs loved and still love old Arnold, and he took it to a different level, KID. People get their drawers in a knot, Thomas Jefferson had relations with his slaves. Give me a break. David Vitter had relations with huukers, and Bill Clinton had his thing. SO WHAT! I could care less but I hate the hypocrites.

    July 23, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. flschmild

    Nixon was trying to get elected President after the Watergate incident.
    The Watergate thing happened in June 1972 and the Presidential election was November 1972.

    July 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. anony

    This type of thing is normal, but when a political leader, pro athlete or public figure does this its wrong? RIght...

    July 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. cajr

    ok soon your going to find out I have engaged in more lurid behavior. but its ok I did stay at a holiday inn express last night. – A. Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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