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. watchfuliiiii

    The righties coming on here claiming higher moral ground have got to get over themselves. How did his actions effect your life? or anyone you know. or anyone you have heard of other than him and his wife? Compare this with say the Iran Contra affair. You remember that one right. Good ole Ollie north and Reagan. Were they Democrats? How about the roaming governor who was down in Argentina cheating on his wife and has now been re-elected. The list goes on and on.

    July 23, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. markiejoe

    I don't want to hear from any more "unnamed" women. Let's have the names, or move on.

    July 23, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. save america

    what a loser

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

    um...what an idiot.

    July 23, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. FoldingCouch

    Somebody take this guy's tea tea away from him. He just cannot handle it.

    July 23, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Ireallyhps

    I don't know what the big deal is. Why is this even an issue, consenting adults do this sort of thing all the time. It doesn't make them more or less capable of doing their work.

    July 23, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Edward

    Carlos Mexico???
    Ron Danger ???

    More like Arnold Horshack.

    July 23, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. CalDude

    With what money was he going to buy the condominium?

    July 23, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. tonyh110

    Yes glad to see somebody was thinking keeping a good supply of dirt on this perv – pull out the next tranche if he doesn't back off

    July 23, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. George Dixon

    Spitzer-Weiner 2016

    It is as good as Hillary!

    July 23, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  11. RandyKC

    Zip it or clip it, Weiner.

    July 23, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Mark of Tennessee

    Atleast it wasn't a little boy like every REPUBLICAN

    July 23, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Jing aling

    There is enough trash in NYC gutters, lets don't add him to the mix.

    What is it with these guys? Could only imagine the reaction if he was gay

    July 23, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. ART

    So apparently Weiner has no shame. I feel sorry for Huma.

    July 23, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Steve

    People sadly always try to make this about the political right, left, independent, etc., which is just stupid. I, for one, am quite simply sick and tired of liars. We all make mistakes and fall short sometimes (no Weiner pun intended), but when you then turn around and lie/conceal/deny after you're caught...you have no business "leading" anyone...please just go away. (Spitzer, Weiner, Clinton, Gringrich, Sanford...whomever).

    July 23, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. David

    Redemption is more than words; its action and an ongoing process. Mr. Weiner can find redemption by staying out of the public for a long time. It's too soon. He like so many of us (I am speaking generally here to avoid being too judgmental) want credibility to come back overnight. It does not work that way. We have to give up what we want (sometimes) in order to find healing. Again, in my opinion, Mr. Weiner needs to go away for a long time and give up politics. At the risk of sounding like Obi Wan..sometimes giving up our dream is what brings back redemption.

    July 23, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Forrestal

    A word to the wise: Don't do what Wiener did even once. Guys who do it, for some reason, can't seem to stop in the face of all reason.

    July 23, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Kris Rais

    Why don't you make sure this is true before posting it. You guys are always jumping the gun.

    July 23, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. why??

    WHY would you want to elect someone who lies like this?? No morals!!

    July 23, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Reasonably

    With a name like his, what can go wrong?

    July 23, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Kennedy

    The dude has serious psycholigical problems, after all the embarrassment to himself and his family resulting from of the first incidents - he does it again - unbelieveable !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Mike allen

    We don't need idiots in congress. I would hope we think higher of that prestigious position than to even consider that goofball.

    July 23, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. ballsdeep

    With all this lying and skirting the issues, he is destined to be president...

    July 23, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Craig

    Stay hot, Weiner!

    July 23, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. Robert Gemerek

    This guy doesn't deserve a break, hes had all the opportunity in the world (he even used to room with john stewart)....and time and time again he's proven himself to be unworthy of any political position.....he's the embodiment of negative Jewish stereotypes and as a new Yorker I don't want him representing me when he's clearly more concerned with being a pervert online.

    July 23, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
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