"It demonstrated a deep personal failing," said the congressman, who said he regrets not being honest about the situation and letting the media frenzy get to this point. When confronted last week with the photo, he said he was shamed and humiliated. The lies were a weak attempt to protect himself and his wife. He didn't blame his behavior on drugs, or alcohol and repeatedly said he accepts responsibility for "being stupid."
He told media that he exchanged suggestive photos and emails with six women over the course of three years. They were all Facebook and Twitter followers of the congressman. He denied ever meeting them in person or physically being in their presence. The exchanges were consensual, he said and in answer to one of the many questions shouted at him from the press in attendance, denied being a cyber stalker. To the best of his knowledge, all the women were over the age of consent.
Weiner's statement included the admission that he "...made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people I love the most. I lied about being hacked. I sent the photo and I am deeply sorry for the woman who was dragged into this. I regret the pain I have caused my wife Huma and our families." He even apologized to journalist Andrew Breitbart who had initially reported and circulated the story with the photo sent on Twitter.
Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin is an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While his wife knew of the women he "friended" on Facebook prior to their marriage, she only learned this morning that the photo circulated last week was of her husband. Weiner said she was shocked and disappointed but said she loves him and believes they can get through the scandal as a couple.
What was he thinking? Weiner said he thought about it from time to time and realized, "It was me doing a very dumb thing and I apologize for it." When asked if he misused any government property or resources in engaging in his activity, he answered with a firm, "no".
The presser was hastily arranged after Politico.com reported that a picture of Weiner shirtless, as well as others that are "sexually suggestive" were published on Monday by a conservative website. They were supplied by a woman who claims to have received them within the last 30 days.
Weiner has been at the center of a controversy that began last week and emanated from what the N.Y. congressman said was a hacked Twitter or Facebook account. A photo of a man in underwear, taken from the waist down and cropped to include nothing more than the top of the man's thighs and his crotch, gave Weiner fits.
When asked last Friday if the photo was of him, Weiner said he couldn't say no "with certitude." He did deny that he sent them purposefully to the woman who claims to have received them. She is a 21 year-old college student in the state of Washington, named Genova Cordova.
That would have been bad enough except that today, Biggovernment.com claims that a new woman has come forward to the site with photos, chats, and emails sent to her by Weiner, that indicate "an online, consensual relationship involving the mutual exchange of intimate photographs."
Radaronline has joined Weiner's circle of hell by reporting that a woman was involved in a lengthy "sexting" exchange with the congressman via Facebook last month, also alleging that she engaged in phone sex with the congressman.
Anthony Weiner, 46 has been married for less than one year. His wife, Huma Abedin has kept out of the public eye since the news storm began. The New York Post reported on Friday that Abedin made a very brief appearance at a work related reception held in a hotel ballroom in Washington, D.C. Abedin, "...briefly hesitated at the State Department ballroom door before working up the courage to go in -- but she left after just five minutes," the Post reported.
Weiner is serving his seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing parts of the N.Y. City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. He has aspirations to run for the office of Mayor of New York. The news today makes it plain he will not resign