Disgraced former congressman-turned-comeback-candidate Anthony Weiner has apologized for yet some more filthy messages and photos sent to women in the Internet even after he resigned from Congress in 2011. But he said he will not quit his campaign for mayor of New York City.
The lewd messages and photos were originally posted on the gossip website The Dirty (warning: sexually explicit).
The images of the exchange show sexually explicit messages from a man called "Carlos Danger" but identified as Weiner by the woman. The woman, who was not identified, told The Dirty that the messages were from summer 2012, more than a year after Weiner resigned and claimed to be trying to heal with marriage to Huma Abedin, who gave birth to the couple's child in December 2011.
Weiner and his wife both briefly spoke at a news conference Tuesday evening ahead of a mayoral forum. He apologized and said he was grateful for his wife's forgiveness.
"Anthony has made some horrible mistakes," Abedin said, after admitting that she was nervous about making a public statement. "Our marriage, like many others, has had its ups and its downs. It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I could forgive Anthony. It was not an easy choice in any way. But I made the decision that it was worth staying in this marriage. That was a decision I made for me, for my son, and for my family."
Weiner told reporters that he told his wife "everything" before they made the decision for him to enter the race for mayor. He implied that he has stopped sexual communications with women: "This is entirely behind me, it was when... I decided to get in, we had this conversation." He said that the last exchanges with women happened last summer.
Earlier in the day, Weiner's campaign released a statement.
"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have. As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress," Weiner said in the statement. "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."
Weiner is running for the Democratic nomination in a crowded field that includes City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Despite some early polling numbers that showed Weiner had high "negatives," more recent surveys showed that his support was growing. A Quinnipiac poll released July 15 showed Weiner leading the race with 25 percent of support, ahead of Quinn's 22 percent.
Democrat Bill de Blasio, who trails Weiner and Quinn in the polls, said that "sideshows" are getting in the way of the debate about the "future of this city."
"And yes, I'm talking about Anthony Weiner. Enough is enough," de Blasio said in a statement. "I'm calling on Anthony to withdraw from this race -- for the good of the city that I know he loves as much as all of us."
In a statement, former Councilman Sal Albanese, a Democrat who is also running for mayor, said Weiner is "unfit for serve" and called for him to quit the race.
"Since he entered public life, Tony has made a career of misleading New Yorkers rather than improving their lives," Albanese said. "Now, just 49 days before the election, he admits that he mislead us again."
On the Republican side, mayoral hopeful John Catsimatidis agreed that Weiner should end his campaign.
"The Mayor of New York City should be a leader that all the residents of our city, especially our children, can look up to," Catsimatidis said. "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."
Joe Lhota, another Republican running for mayor, had no comment at this time, his campaign said.