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. The Catskinner

    If his name wasn't Weiner, this would all blow over.

    July 23, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  2. Frankie

    Do the people of New York really believe this guy, is it really possible to confide in an idiot like this. Who has not only dishonor his wife but the american people to which he's to represent. I would never ever give my vote to a man who is running for office and has gotten caught in bribes tax evasion drugs or any other thing that stains his honor and reputation as a law abiding citizen. Than said , he should step down again! and work for Larry Flynt instead.

    July 23, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. clafarg

    what a weiner!

    July 23, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. Double Trouble

    Human needs a good foot long...non kosher dog.

    July 23, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  5. Srini

    what a hopeless loser and an idiot... if you can not control puerile impulses and can not be truthful, then don't run for public office which drags you and your family thru mud.

    And, what's up with his wife? is she trying to emulate her idol Hillary Clinton "sticking by my man.." thing? he is not a man, he is weiner.... u can do so much better.

    July 23, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  6. Hulot

    I am from the American Association of Comedians. Please vote for this guy.

    July 23, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  7. billunder

    There is a morale dimension to decision-making and this man has shown none. Leaders should be role models in the way they conduct their life and consider the impact it has on others. Voting for him will only encourage others of this type. If America is on a downhill slope it’s due to people electing this type of person. He’s has no shame and is not worthy of our time or consideration.

    July 24, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  8. Goony

    Can Spitzer replace him? No, he was caught whoring.

    July 24, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. Jesus is God

    Weiner is jew, that woman huma a muslim. They are from democratic party. A perfect combination of evil that satan wants to put into the Noble White Christian America, and the democrats and other atheists are providing the right opportunity to sneak in satan into the Noble Land of White American Christians who have been Blest by Jesus with this land.

    July 24, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  10. johndoughboy

    Surely, The Big Apple has more qualified people than this Anthony Weiner. This guy just doesn't have the 'right stuff' to become Mayor of The New York the world loves. New York deserves more than this fellow for a candidate. Seems they ought to realize that also.

    July 24, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  11. Jgeek

    This sick puppy has the nerve to run for mayor in NYC, and sick people voted on him in the polls...

    July 24, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  12. Liberal Antagonizer

    Hilarious how some of the lefties here are saying "if he were a republican..." or "I wish he were a republican...". Liberal = Individual with warped sense of reality?

    July 24, 2013 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  13. Popcorn

    No big news, just old chat messages resurfacing again.

    July 24, 2013 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  14. Values

    Weiner is a prime example of how our society is losing its morals and values at a staggering rate. Too many people are forgiving him or excusing him instead of expecting some integrity from those who represent us. Come on America – let's have some pride again! Just because people have moral lapses does not mean we should ignore, excuse, or allow it without repercussions. Let's try to aspire and better ourselves and not accept mediocrity and consistent transgression as a way of life.

    July 24, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  15. joedog

    Tne view from outside New York is WHY. Why even consider Weiner in the first place. Isn't there anyone else in your big talent pool you'd rather have represent you? The view from inside New York should be, "If we elect him, we will be the biggest fools on earth."

    July 24, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  16. Allen lexy

    honesty, is the key, hasn't anyone done anything wrong to anyone?, no one, as long as it doesn't damage the welfare of the country, the guy is ok, honesty is the key to correct mistakes and making of a better person...

    July 24, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  17. Debra

    I have read several remarks here, some defending him saying he has a right to have a private life, and others that are disgusted with him.... common sense if he is looking to become the mayor, is his priority his work or looking for the next skirt to chase??? The facts are , this is his second time around with this, he obviously hasn't . learned his lesson, what makes you think he will now?? As for his wife i hope America is not that stupid to know that she truly forgives him a second time, its clearly a political tactic ...,,Lucky for me I don't live in New York!!!

    July 24, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  18. Anonymous

    And I care about this because? Who cares...seriously..he needs to get a divorce and she needs to move on

    July 24, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  19. Allen

    He is such a loser.

    July 24, 2013 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  20. pjoe

    Hahahahahaha. Seriously, I can't stop laughing. Wow. Made me cry. Hahahahahahaha. Thanks CNN.

    July 24, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  21. amoripaz

    Since Weiner continued his behavior after resigning from Congress, his assertions that it would never happen again turned out to be lies, not only to his wife, but to the public. The alternative explanation is that he has a serious sexual pathology and can't help himself. In either case, he is not equipped to be the mayor of one of the world's capitals. He is brazen to consider himself worthy of that office. And his wife forgiving him doesn't mean that the public should risk putting into office someone who has been blatantly dishonest. Do we expect so little from our politicians that we would let them lie to our faces and then elect them into office? Wake up, New Yorkers!

    July 24, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  22. Dev

    I agree with the ohers that say "it is a personal matter between him and his wife" . However, if he is dishonest with his wife even after being caught and admitting to such lies, he contined on with this behavior. Not only does this speak to his caracter but to his honesty. How much trust can or should the public entrust to someone who is a known, repetative lier who has no respect for publicly humiliating his wife or feeling any shame by repeating his behaviour???? The only thing he feels bad about is that his behaviour became public! That is not a man worthy of office! If he can screw his wife and child over in such a shameful and disgraceful way what do you think he is will do to all those wonderful taxpayers?!?!?!?!

    July 24, 2013 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  23. maruzicho

    If I was married and my wife did that to me, or I did that to my wife I'm getting a divorce on the spot. How can people take a partner marriage partner doing that to them when marriage is the ultimate bond. If your going to cheat just date or stay single. There is no point in hurting people.

    July 24, 2013 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  24. Melvina

    What's up colleagues, pleasant article and pleasant arguments commented at this place, I am actually enjoying by these.

    July 24, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  25. maruzicho

    I would leave a marriage partner who is not faithful and committed. When your married trust is the ultimate quality. That is the whole point of marriage. Having someone you love, can't get enough of, and most of all TRUST.

    July 24, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
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