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. oun

    This guy uses awful judgement.

    July 23, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. mebeingme

    So what! This is between him and his wife. Everyone commenting has glass house's. So what! I should say between him and God also. But what would any of you know about God. Is every Politian perfect? Not even these people that report the news are perfect. Calm down.

    July 23, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Borderless

    And he will still be elected. Seriously! New York! What is wrong with you people?!?

    July 23, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Alice

    This guy needs to stop and go somewhere else.. I don't care if his wife forgives him and thinks the public should. She just said this was between them. He made promises to his wife when he got married to be loyal and faithful. He will take an oath of office too. How are people to trust him with important matters of such a City as New York. For all people who are in relationships, this is disgraceful to accept this behavior. We are stooping to such lows in our values in this country. Everyone thinks they just have to apologize and all is forgotten. Accept some accountability and consequences for your actions. Scary that these people want such power.

    July 23, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. Steven Colo

    I think I see a pattern here.

    July 23, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Stranger Danger

    Typical liberal.

    July 23, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Greg

    Just you watch him get voted in. lol YES, people are that stupid.

    July 23, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. jasmine

    These type of politicians need to be casted away and quickly. America has no time,no need for them ANYMORE. The tolerance just continues of this type.

    July 23, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. ptsd_2013

    Weiner and Lewdinsky Ticket in 2016 !!

    July 23, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Cuffy

    The peter-tweeter-repeater!

    July 23, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. Mr Dalloway

    Anthony you are forgiven

    July 23, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Bryan

    Typical liberal values.

    July 23, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Lorrine

    So when is the public going to quit voting these losers in. There should never be another chance for poiticians like this. Our country is in the state it is in because people don't even have a clue who they are voting for. I'd rather vote for an animal. Is America becoming the laughing stock of the world? Lets just put another couple of losers in office – soon every law that was made to protect people is going to be used against people. If you are going to vote -know your candidate.

    July 23, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Vijay

    At least he speaks truth instead of David Witter, Mark Sanford and idaho senator (horrible activity in MN Airport). If i stay in NY, I will vote for him.

    July 23, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Wow!!!

    I really don't know who is dumber – Weiner or his wife....and Americans need a reality check if they even give this guy the time of day!

    July 23, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. Lost Keys

    You just can't keep that Weiner under control.

    July 23, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Norman

    Take away this man's access to the electronic world...quick!!

    July 23, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Namejoe

    Classic distraction from the real

    July 23, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Jim

    don't worry: he promises.... really really... he won't do it again. And he really means it this time (pinky promise!)

    July 23, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. commonsenseisntcommon

    I just don't get this "weener". He has a beautiful wife and amazing life opportunities. Why throw it all away for a cheap thrill? It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with being an irresponsible narcissistic fool.

    July 23, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Multion

    Who Cares?
    So he had chats with people online...?
    Why does that mean he can't do his job?

    July 23, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. sfish

    once a wiener, always a wiener – face it, society doesn't care any more about skeletons in the closet

    July 23, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. The Big Grapple

    This guy's campaign would be great for gay tourism. Vote for Weiner. Don't worry, your wife will forgive you.

    July 23, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  24. Julie

    It does not inspire confidence in AW, that's for sure. Very sad, I think he's a smart man and might actually be a very good public servant. But a man (or woman) who cannot control their barnyard drives or at least keep them sharply apart from their job is problematic. We got enough bimbos of both genders in government without some dummy possibly handing out political appointments to them.
    "Challenges" indeed, Anthony. I would strong;y suggest you restrict yourself from using any internet device without supervision. Maybe then you'll be able to focus on the important things in life.

    July 23, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. sfish

    this guys wife is a dope

    July 23, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
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