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. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    Jeez, he is a sleazebag. He will probably get elected. His wife must want a position of status more than a husband who is worth a crap.

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. He'll Never Change

    Boy, talk about pure stupidity and lack of control....how could New York possibly elect this guy as Mayor? Then there is the issue of his wife – is she totally clueless or just a glutton for punishment. With her own high profile, you would think she would kick him to the curb already. Apparently taking the cue from her mentor Hillary Clinton, who looked the other way at her husbands discretions – clearly a sign that these women should not be leaders.

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. OMG

    Can't New York do any better than this?!? The collection of candidates for mayor is at best a freak show. And what does this all say of Wienner's spouse who oh by the way worked(s) for Hillary "stand by her man" Clinton? Both He and his wife are moraless opportunists.

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Glauber

    When were these messages supposedly sent? Around the time he was sending pictures of his junk to a different woman, or is all of this since his big apology and re-entry into politics?

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. uncleric

    Anthony Weiner has paid a hefty pride for his act(s): loss of job + the ridicule.
    Time to let it pass.
    I for one, am more interested in what Mr. Weiner can provide for me; and if his ideology is kosher to mine.
    And with that assessment, I would support Mr. Weiner; ...if I was in his district.

    July 23, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. TJ

    Bottom line, regardless of possible entrapment or if she is after money/fame, none of this sould be happening> this guy is running for mayor and it just seems to me that he has poor judgement, low self estemm and a poor character. He si causing so much embarassment to his family and most of all his wife. Mr Weiner – give it up. Time to look into retail.

    July 23, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. LBLA

    First CNN reports money scandal with Virginia Republican Governor, then CNN reports scandal with New York Democratic candidate for governor. Instead of the back-and-forth accusations of which party is more corrupt, can't we just agree that they both are?

    July 23, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. mcdonoughjc

    Doesn't Anthony Weiner know that the puritan American population would rather have a politician screw them than find out that he has screwed a woman who is not his wife. .

    July 23, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Peter North

    The left will still vote for him. Morality never stopped a liberal.

    July 23, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Guest

    Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!! And you clowns are going to vote this guy ack into office! I look forward to his next resignation.

    July 23, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Chris

    This dude is still married?! Oh that woman just must love being humiliated

    July 23, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. BalancedBudget

    He fits right in with others in his party.

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. MontanaTrace

    Yes, I knew it was wrong when I did it. Did that make any difference? Nah. I figured, like in politics and as someone elected to office, I could do anything, if I didn't get caught. VOTE FOR ME! I've learned my lesson and this time, I won't get caught.

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. eboniteprice

    Weirdo, freak, looser. But the most important thing, you are not Black, so it will be okay!

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Loathstheright

    Unlike Republicans who will proudly vote for a convicted felon, we Progressive Democrats are not quick to forgive even activities that weren't even unlawful by ours.

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Imperialvalley

    People don't get it....we sit in front of tv and allow these people to shape our nation. From reality tv to corrupt politicians we don't learn.....and we'd allow then to get away with it.

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Woah Nelly

    You have to wonder what it is that keeps Weiner's wife in the game.
    He's a pretty ugly guy, and he can't keep it in his drawers...and she's not bad looking.
    Huma should have lots of other prospects, and should be ditching Anthony post haste.

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. cas43

    I wonder if being married to a Muslim Brotherhood plant makes you more likely to cheat or less.

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Siestasis

    What a sleaze.

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. TX JIM

    Carlos Danger? ROFL... Weiner is the joke that keeps telling itself..

    July 23, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. poseidon

    What's up liberals? Looks like your retreads are even worse than those on the wacky right wing side.

    July 23, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. ron

    Once an idiot, always an idiot. Besides the fact that he intends to embarrass his wife by "having her campaign" with him, people of NY don't let this fool even get close to an elected office. You have enough troubles with the mayor you have let alone even thinking about the possibilities of this bozo winning an election.

    July 23, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. InFormed

    If anything, this will only improve his chances! People love to read about scandal and the more they read the more they don't read your opponents information. There is (almost) no such thing as bad publicity these days. Does not matter what you have done. This has been proved time and time again. Maybe he actually arranged for the information to leak out. He has already admitted to doing it, so his opposition bringing it up again makes them look desperate.

    July 23, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Angst_PDX

    Hmmmm. I wonder who stands to gain from the release of this old up old junk at this point in time? Honestly, I am more disgusted with the shady people behind the scenes who play games like this with the American public than I am with some dude sending Weiner pics.

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Eninaj

    I'd like to run for public office! Could a woman (with a sordid past comparible to a male candidate) be as easily forgiven and accepted as a theses naughty males?

    July 23, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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