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. Kman66

    Just watched, I know now more than ever that this guy is a pathetic liar.

    July 23, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. Karl Wilder

    STOP apologizing.

    It was not our business then nor now and has nothing to do with your job. Do what you like with your Weiner, just be a good mayor.

    July 23, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Pete/Ark

    His "moral fiber" is crafted from the backbone of a Jellyfish ...

    July 23, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Kman66

    Said he would take questions, then ran off after 3 or 4 of them, like a typical coward.

    July 23, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Lynndel

    Woopy Weiner boy s back.

    July 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Kevin

    This man is a disgrace and that fact that he has the nerve to think he's qualified to run the city of New York is galling. The only thing that might be worse are the fools who vote for him!!!! Is this REALLY the best candidate any party can put its money behind . I'm sick of all the politicians, on BOTH sides of the aisle doing all sorts of disgusting, immoral and dishonest things and somehow thinking it's OK to simply apologize and move on. It has to end.

    July 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Fiona

    I've been trying to access the story on Thedirtydotcom, but I keep getting error codes. Does this guy have more pull than he lets on?

    He should hand his head (both heads)in shame. His behavior is that of a hormonal teenager.

    July 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. Joe Seattle

    What a loser.

    Yeah, he's sorry...he go caught!.

    But, if you voted for him, you might rethink whether voting for you is really a good idea. Typical democrat, though.

    July 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Loathstheright

    Even with his personal baggage on this, he is still more qualified than any Republican.
    It seems he should have realized that he was being setup by a Republican operative.

    July 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  10. John

    This guys is a predator(not sarcastic)... and the brilliant minds of nyc (sarcastic) will elect him (not sarcastic)

    July 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  11. boohoo

    his w and stand by her manife needs to kick him to the curb.she does not have to do a silly hilly

    July 23, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Mike Bushman

    Mayor Filner meet Mayor Weiner . . . and . . . Comptroller Spitzer . . . and . . . President Clinton. You should move to New York.

    July 23, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Andre Decoteau

    Why does it matter let the man do the job, this country worry about his personal business but we do so much other shady things everyday.

    July 23, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    His wife must be proud, she must be talking to Hillary

    July 23, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. tom l.

    "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."

    You sound just like Karl Rove on election night.

    July 23, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. mike

    Dude needs to stay out of politics and get into ANY OTHER LINE OF EMPLOYMENT where nobody cares if you hit on chicks.

    July 23, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  17. Ryan

    lol hahaha, this is all i can write about this guy!

    July 23, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Human122234

    Does this guy honestly think he has a chance of becoming mayor?

    July 23, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Walter

    I love these laughable libs forgiving Weiner. If a Republican had "manned up" and admitted it, the libbies would have had their panties in a bunch screaming about those "sanctimonious Republicans." Gee, a double standard with libbies, what a surprise.

    July 23, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. John C

    I hope he is elected, NYers deserve a Weiner like this to represent them.

    July 23, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Willy

    I mean go easy on him guys, didn't his ancestors invent our favorite ball park food? ( I know juvenile, but if you knew my last name you'd know I can't help it because I was the subject of many laughs as a child, and yes, I know it is spelled differently). But honestly, anyone can change if they really want to. I do believe that. They are saying you should vote for a weiner. I don't live there so you guys decide.

    July 23, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Bill Shaw

    The honorable mayor Carlos Danger rofl. Only in what the american political system has become is this possible..

    July 23, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. Derek

    At least he didn't do what a Republican would do by going out, pandering to the evangelicals, and citing how God forgives others and blessed him in moving his life forward.

    July 23, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  24. Jeff Cox

    To paraphrase Andy Shepherd, "Being in office is ALL about character!"

    And to borrow from Winston Wolfe, "Just because you ARE a character, it doesn't mean you HAVE character."

    I expect more from my elected leaders. This guy has no business representing others in the public sector. Tony, time to get a REAL job!

    July 23, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. SixDegrees

    I've never seen his wife before.

    Somebody needs to check if they're brother and sister.

    July 23, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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