July 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET
8 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.

PHOTOS: Top 10 political comebacks

Spitzer, Weiner and why New York is talking about sex

Opinon: New York's sex scandal candidates

Filed under: Anthony Weiner • New York
soundoff (1,191 Responses)
  1. Mike

    NYC will still elect this guy, just to one-up LA, whose current mayor seems to have his share of self-control issues. Pretty sad when the biggest two cities in the country can't find better mayors. Anybody want to bet on Chicago's mayor being next?

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Loki

    time for the Weiner to pull out

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. atkoa

    Weiner is another democrat/pig. .

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Sue

    LOL, yes, entrapment. Someone forced him to take a picture of his weiner.

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Coach

    David D
    You clearly misread the article Mr Weiner did not continue his behaviour the pictures and text recently released are one that were from the initial scandal clearly someone has some dirt on him and havechoosen to release it in a timely manner

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Mike S

    I he wins the mayoral election in NYC, I will lose all respect for it.

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. B

    I'd rather have a pro-freedom, capable man with a vision running the city, state or nation even if he has a few personal indiscretions, rather than idiots whose only qualification are that they don't or can't bone anyone except their wives.

    Like, what would I give to have Bill Clinton in place of the Bush years, he could have any number of women he wanted who willingly throw themselves at him! At least the nation wouldn't have been in this mess!!

    July 23, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. elvix

    Next time (but there's no more next time) think before you do things. Now you will regret this the rest of your remaining life.

    July 23, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Esletvana Tsoieva

    Steve, I think you need to talk about leaders of both parties. And you need to start to say "Adultery is A-OK" as the French do.

    July 23, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Lars

    That guy is a piece of work. The bar is set pretty low if that is what the city wants for a mayor. We are all flawed but that is ridiculous. I feel bad for his wife.

    July 23, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Portland tony

    Not my city, but most New Yorker voters care about "Whatcha gonna do as mayor" than whatcha doin' in your bedroom!

    July 23, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. works4me

    Such a Weiner

    July 23, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Demigod Vadik, CA

    I think some people need some reading comprehension lessons...

    ....Weiner was talking about his PAST...

    ...he hasn't done anything since then...but he does say that there may be more photos (from his previous and already disclosed "lewd" online conversations)...

    July 23, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Abbey

    I can't wait for the next episode of this dog and pony.

    July 23, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Joe

    There are a lot of qualified candiates for public office, it's beyond me why voters would think twice supporting these retreads.

    July 23, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. cheater

    WHO REALLY CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obviously came from the opposition!

    July 23, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. elvis costanza

    He's NOT "in trouble again", these are part of the older mess that caused him to resign, and are now being released to damage his chances in the election.

    July 23, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Anon

    HI wife should sue him or simply get a divorce – the settlement could be substantial, then she could look for a normal guy and lead a normal life. New Yorkers can do better than vote for this thing.

    July 23, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Mary K. Walker

    This guy is SICK! NYC can do better. Folks, we NEED honest, clean politicians that want to help us bring America back to where she needs to be in the sight of the world. It is that simple. This guy makes me want to throw up!

    July 23, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Dallas

    He needs to drop out of the race now. Christine Quinn is truly the most qualified to be the next Mayor of New York City. I certainly understand that everyone deserves a second chance, but Mr. Weiner has had his and now is the time to drop out and go get some help for the good of his family and himself.

    July 23, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Ryan

    He should probably stay out of public policy making. Americans should want the best of society making decisions that affect them.

    July 23, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Uncle Sam

    What do these weasels have in common?
    Weiner, Spitzer, Armstrong, Braun
    None of them know how to be truthful.

    July 23, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Steve

    Your nose is MASSIVE

    July 23, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Quixote

    Yeah,......time for him to go away for good. I dont care how right his ideas are, he hurts the people by hurting the Democratic party with his ween problems. We all have our problems, but his are not suite for high office.

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Az

    I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I will offer to Wiener donors, I am sure they will recognize the bargain!

    July 23, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48