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. Danny

    So Weiner and Eliot Spitzer
    This is all New York's got to run for mayor. My God have mercy on NY and America. There are no moral or ethical people to be in public service. I do not believe that, we are just looking in the wrong place.

    July 23, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. IpseCogita

    Funny, had he been a Republican his political affiliation would have been in the headline and used at least twice in each of the first two paragraphs. As a Democrat his political affiliation isn't mentioned until the 11th paragraph, well after the vast majority have stopped reading.

    July 23, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. hefailed

    Temmy Wynette (aka Hillary Clinton):

    Stand by your man
    Give him two arms to cling to
    And something warm to come to
    when nights are cold and lonely

    Stand by your man
    And show the world you love him
    Keep giving all the love you can
    Stand by your man

    July 23, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. gmenfan54

    Anthony needs to stop showing his "weiner" to everyone.

    July 23, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Beverly

    Poor Huma. She shhold get out and find a decent husband.

    July 23, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. smartaz

    I hear he hangs out in Goldshire on WoW

    July 23, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  7. Johnjon

    I'm sorry but these two do NOT belong in Gracie Mansion, and I'm a Democrat.

    July 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. ram

    I think what he did is awful. I think if anyone does it it is awful. I think he has done less than some who have been re-elected or forgiven, and I think if one party gets a free pass on being a jerk the other should as well. My point is both parties have people who do things that are wrong in their personal life. I haven't seen anything that says he used illegal funds or anything like that, so as it stands it seems he did things he shouldn't being a married man. That would account for many of our elected representatives, and although I think it is awful, I don't think his is anything worse than any of the others who did it and much worse and are still doing it as they criticize him. Equal mistakes should get equal treatment whatever party someone belongs to.

    July 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Syed

    Put the Weiner in a bun, then add rest of the ingredients.

    July 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. Richard

    If this cretin gets elected, it'll show how pathetic New Yorkers are.

    July 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Chooch

    "Look, texting with no hands!" ~ Anthony Weiner

    July 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. pgraham52

    Only liberal New Yorkers could elect a predator. Dose character mean anything to these people. They deserve what they get. The rest of the country will just sit back and laugh when he implodes.

    July 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. nixmal2

    ONE problem here is that Huma looks like an idiot. If he doesn't win or, when he wins and gets "settled in", he'll do it again. While I hope that's not the case, I believe he will prove it to be true and LAUGH at her stupidity. Unbeknownst to her, she's just helping him along with his career (and truth be told, maybe she is getting something out of it too...) However, she is not doing herself nor other women any favors by speaking publicly in his favor. It's hard as hell, but grow up, Huma.

    July 23, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. BudW

    Why are people backing screech for mayor? NYC if you elect this clown there is no hope for you.

    July 23, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. Missy in Ohio

    He's a pig. And a joke: "Carlos Danger"?!

    And his wife is an idiot.

    July 23, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. joe f

    What a joke NYC is, this is the best candidate they can come up with?

    July 23, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. JohnRJohnson

    I wonder how many men in Congress would be able to say under oath that they had never, at the very least, played games with women on line? Maybe Sidney Gohmert. That's about it. We are all such hypocrites and fools, expecting our politicians to be any different from us.

    July 23, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. ram

    And to clarify, I am disappointed in him and hate that a person who has done good things and could do more made such horrible choices. Ugh. The others who did and do this I don't have any feelings about except ugh.

    July 23, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. maggieo

    I find him absolutely disgusting. And his wife....she's singing country song "Stand by your man."

    July 23, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Matt Mattson

    The official campaign vehicle is the Weinermobile, with a special Woodie version in the works.

    July 23, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. davecu

    Get a REAL job, you non principled mutt.

    You should be ashamed to drag your wife and family thru this!

    July 23, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. GonzoG

    He's such a wiener. Politicians can't seem to keep it in their pants.

    Either that or the get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, like Virginia's Governor.

    July 23, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. sjn

    Maybe he could stay in politics quietly out of the lime light because not everyone is his wife and his judgment is in question – doesn't mean he still can't be an asset somewhere somehow.

    July 23, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. DPB

    Sounds like Hillary and Bill all over again...wouldn't she shocked if she said she is no stand by her man kind of woman...but I am sure the minions will roar and support a great democrat liberal leader...

    July 23, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Siesta_Bear

    NYC will elect this idiot because they are too self-absorbed and filled with vanity taking photos of themsleves in the mirror to post on Facebook or their food to post on Instagram in order to see how gross this troll Weiner is.

    July 23, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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