Accompanied by his wife at a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Democratic mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner said that a new round of sexually explicit messages published online Tuesday morning was sent more than a year after he resigned from Congress, but that the couple has since put the matter behind them.
Weiner, who resigned from Congress amidst a 2011 sexting scandal, said that he will continue to "move forward" with his mayoral campaign.
The messages, between Weiner and a young woman he met online, were first reported Tuesday by the gossip and nightlife website TheDirty.com and were exchanged sometime last summer.
Weiner addressed the messages at a press conference shortly after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"To some degree, with 49 days left until Primary Day, perhaps I'm surprised that more things didn't come out sooner," Weiner said. "I'm responsible for this behavior that led us to be in this place, but in many ways, things are not that much different than they were yesterday."
When asked by reporters, he said the messages stopped "sometime last summer, I think," but would not address the particular details of the story posted on TheDirty.com beyond saying that he had met none of the women in person.
His wife, longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, appeared with him at the press conference and expressed her support for Weiner in her first appearance before the press since he launched his mayoral campaign two months ago.
"Anthony's made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after. But I do very strongly believe that is between us and our marriage," Abedin said. "We discussed all of this before Anthony decided he would run for mayor. But really, what I want to say is, I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward."
"This behavior that I did was problematic, to say the least, destructive, to say the most, caused many stresses and strains in my marriage, but I'm pleased and blessed that she has given me a second chance," Weiner said. "For the past several months, I've been asking New Yorkers to also give me another chance."
The story on TheDirty.com said that Weiner's online relationship with the unidentified woman was said to have lasted for six months and was going on as late as last August, and that Weiner and the woman also exchanged photographs and had sexual phone conversations.
The woman, who spoke anonymously to The Dirty, said that Weiner talked about getting her a condo in Chicago where they could have sex.
Weiner is said to have used the name "Carlos Danger" to correspond with the woman.
At the press conference, Weiner re-read a statement released earlier in the day Tuesday, which said that he always knew other text messages and photos were likely to come out during the campaign.
In the statement, he went on to say, "While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong. 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."
Several Mayoral Rivals Call On Weiner To Quit Race After Latest Revelations
NY1: Weiner's Wife Reiterates Support After He Admits To Messaging Women After Resignation
Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Meanwhile, mayoral rivals John Catsimatidis, Adolfo Carrion, Bill de Blasio and Sal Albanese have called for Weiner to drop out of the race.
De Blasio, a Democrat, told reporters, "We as public servants are held to a higher standard. I was hoping he'd offer meaningful ideas but that's not going to happen. His presence in this race diminishes the debate and he should go."
Carrion said, "If you tell us you've come clean, and then you say, 'Well, but it's not the entirety of the story,' when does this end? I believe we have a trust deficit. It's a problem. Twenty-nine percent of the electorate comes out to vote. Seventy-one percent of the people stay home because they don't believe in politicians anymore, and he's asking us to trust him? I think his candidacy should be over."
In a statement, Catsimatidis said, "The Mayor of New York City should be a leader that all the residents of our city, especially our children, can look up to. Anthony Weiner should do what is right for his family and our city and drop out of the race for mayor so we can end this soap opera."
Albanese, who previously criticized Weiner over the texting scandal in mayoral forums, continued to attack Weiner, saying, "I said from day one that he was unfit to be mayor of the city of New York as soon as he entered the race. It's apparent that that continues to be the case."
The New York chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW-NYC) also asked for Weiner to drop out of the race, saying in a statement, "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. He is clearly and compellingly unfit for public office and the sooner comes to this realization, the better for the people of New York."
The Weiner scandal was also a hot topic on the streets, and people NY1 spoke with said the former congressman may be running out of second chances.
"Well I guess he's going big and then he's going to go home, because he ain't going to be voted in, I don't think, with that," said one person.
"If he says that it was an indiscretion and he moved on, but he really didn't, we have to really consider if this is someone that we want to represent us," said another. "I think New Yorkers are forgiving, but not if you are lying again and again and again."
"I believe his actions were wrong, but I do think people deserve chances," said a third. "I don't know when his chances will run out."
"I do think that he should be judged on his politics and what he plans to do for the community and budgeting and things like that, but this surely doesn't help," said a fourth.