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. Marsha

    Maybe he should run in Illinois. They like their politicians perverted and crooked. If the people of NY are stupid enough to vote for him, they will undoubtedly get exactly what they deserve. And I have to admire his wife for standing by him the first time, but this guy's obviously a serial pervert. He should not be raising children. Supervised visitation only.

    July 23, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Bob May

    LOL, Republicans have no room to talk.

    July 23, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Sandra LeVin

    I think AW has a plethora of deeper issues that render him unfit for "public service."

    Can anybody tell me what his past accomplishments were? What exactly are the policies he would implement in NYC that would make him a successful mayor and help the city?

    July 23, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. USArmy

    It won't matter. The New York voters will elect him. Morals no longer matter. Why are people surprised that she is staying with him? Her mentor was Hillary Clinton.

    July 23, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Clarke

    Seems you can do what ever you want now a days, say you made a mistake, I am sorry. Move on! If you can cheat on your own family, and not care. Where does that leave the strangers who voted for you, what do you to them. Maybe the voters don't love you as much as Your wife does.

    July 23, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. nwcitizen

    Two things bother me about this. First is Weiner's lack of personal morals but, more importantly, his lack of judgement about engaging in this kind of conduct using the Internet which we all know is not a private medium. is alarming.

    I sincerly hope the public does not put their trust in him.

    July 23, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. eliastucker

    Give this guy a TV show already!! Oh wait...

    July 23, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. Strangways

    Weiner's a d-bag. It's over. Next.

    July 23, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. Samanthaz

    I may care if there was even half of the scrutiny put upon Republicans, who do worse. So, I don't care. I hope Weiner gets the job. We need him to balance out the right wing nonsense.

    July 23, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. petroskies

    who know maybe she has her own dark side between jewish we never know ?

    July 23, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Mike

    Tough nut to crack. I think this is a job for Rosie Palm. Maybe he should put his Weiner where his mouth is.

    July 23, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. Tumek

    What? This lying pervert wants to be mayor of New York? He should run for president!

    July 23, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. Sam

    NO! oh wait, it's NYC weeny we forgive you.....

    July 23, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. thom

    They are both pitiful. But, not as pitiful as anyone who would vote for the guy.

    July 23, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. American Politics :(

    Why does any of this matter?!

    July 23, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. TLORop

    How many chances are you willing to give him?

    July 23, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. Dree

    Anthony Weiner running for mayor really takes balls.

    July 23, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. MIke S

    This guy is a politician and can't be trusted and he proves it time and time again.
    Government is made out of politicians. So when you put your trust in goverment as Obama constantly ask you to do, you are at the same time putting your trust in politicians. Do you trust politicians? And if not, why are you putting the trust in goverment?
    So stop giving so much power to the goverment. It can't be trusted.

    July 23, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  19. Duffdude

    Why on earth do we allow people like this to run for office? I just don't get it.....

    July 23, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. CB

    Anyone that actually votes for this joke deserves what they get.

    July 23, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. Not going take it anymore!

    He's a still a weiner, she's a dumb weiner, and your a bigger weiner if you vote for this sausge at all!

    July 23, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  22. ishiibrad

    By the look of his wifes face. I`d say divorce her and let her go on and try and have a happy life. You`ve done enough damage to her already weiner!

    July 23, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. Timus

    She looks so downtrodden....

    July 23, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. mim

    If that is the look of a forgiving wife then my name is Cinderella.

    July 23, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. honorable65

    W's wife Huma is so pathetic. She is just as power hungry as her boss HC who is her role model for putting up with wayward husbands.

    July 23, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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