Former congressman Anthony Weiner is running for New York City mayor.
(Photo: Spencer Platt, Getty Images)
Anthony Weiner listens to a question from the media after courting voters outside a Harlem subway station a day after announcing he will enter the New York mayoral race on May 23, 2013 in New York City.
(Photo: Mario Tama, Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) -- Former congressman Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., said he would not quit his race for mayor of New York City, despite acknowledging that he continued to send women inappropriate online messages after a sexting scandal forced him to resign from Congress in 2011.
"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have," Weiner said in a hastily arranged news conference with his wife by his side. Weiner acknowledged that some of the inappropriate texts were sent after he had resigned.
"Some of these things happened before my resignation, some of them happened after," Weiner said.
"I'm sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race," he said, but he refused to drop out of the race. After the news conference he went directly to a mayoral candidate forum.
"Anthony has made some horrible mistakes both before he resigned from Congress and after," said Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin. "I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him."
An online gossip site called The Dirty posted screenshots Monday of online messages between an account in the name of Anthony Weiner and that of an unidentified woman. The site said the messages were sent last August, more than a year after Weiner left Congress. Weiner discusses her potential involvement in a blog for Politico, the political news site, and talks about his cats. He also asks the woman to delete other messages they exchanged.
A second, salacious chat exchange posted by The Dirty was from an account using the name Carlos Danger, which the site, quoting the unidentified woman, says is Weiner.
Weiner stepped down from Congress in June 2011 after admitting that he had texted lewd pictures of himself to women, reversing previous denials. In May, Weiner entered the race for New York City mayor and his wife, an aide to former secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is campaigning for him. The couple have an 18-month-old son.
On Tuesday, Weiner said his behavior was "problematic to say the least, and self-destructive to say the most," but he reminded reporters that he had said at the time that more pictures and messages might be out there. The messages revealed Monday "don't represent all that much that is new."
Because of the upcoming Sept. 10 Democratic primary, "I'm surprised that more things didn't come out sooner," he said Tuesday.
"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 a written statement. "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. I want to again say that I am very sorry to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages and the disruption that this has caused. As my wife and I have said, we are focused on moving forward."
At the news conference, Weiner refused to detail which of the messages were authentic.
Sometimes smiling and sometimes near tears, the elegantly dressed Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, addressed one of the biggest questions of the Weiner story: why she is still married to him. "It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to the point where I could forgive Anthony," she said.
Staying with Weiner "was not an easy choice in any way," she said. "But I made a decision that it was worth staying in this marriage. that was a decision I made for me, for our son and for our family. I didn't know how it would work, out but I did know that I wanted to give it a try."
George Arzt, a New York Democratic political consultant, said the new revelations would make Weiner's campaign much harder, particularly with former N.Y. governor Eliot Spitzer running for city comptroller after his own sex scandal.
"Obviously he has a lot of problems, plus the fact that I think that Spitzer has taken a lot of air out of his balloon, because they have overlapping aberrant behavior," Arzt said. "There is a cumulative impact for the public. They're willing to give anyone a second chance, and then they see the repetitive nature of his misdeeds, and they say, nah, I just can't.''
Follow @USATMoore on Twitter.