Weiner to stay in NY mayor race despite new sex claims
Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner said Tuesday he would continue his bid to become New York's next mayor despite being hit by a new sex scandal.
Weiner, 48, admitted sending lewd texts and photographs under the name "Carlos Danger" to a young woman a year after resigning from Congress over similar revelations.
But he insisted his conduct had been covered by his previous confession and, at an emotionally charged press conference, his wife Huma Abedin said that she was standing by him and pleaded with the media to grant the couple time to resolve their problems in private.
"Anthony's made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after," Abedin, a former aide to Hillary Clinton said. "But I do very strongly believe that that is between us and our marriage."
Abedin added: "I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward."
According to news website "The Dirty," Weiner, 48, used the "Carlos Danger" moniker to contact the woman on Facebook and establish an online relationship with her which involved the exchange of intimate photographs, which the publisher of the site says he is considering releasing.
Weiner effectively confirmed that the latest allegations were substantially true but sought to present them as having been covered by his previous confession.
"I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have," he said, reading out a statement that was almost identical to one released earlier by his campaign team.
"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.
"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."
Weiner insisted the scandal should not have any bearing on his bid to relaunch his political career by becoming mayor.
"I know this was a very public thing that we had happen to us but by no means does it change the fundamentals of my feelings here, and that is that I want to bring my vision to the people of the city of New York. I hope they're willing to still continue to give me a second chance, and I hope they realize that in many ways what happened today was something that frankly had happened before but it doesn't represent all that much that is new."
A poll last week suggested Weiner is well-placed to become the Democratic candidate to succeed Michael Bloomberg as the mayor of New York, with voters apparently largely indifferent to his scandal-tainted past.
Pollsters from Quinnipiac University ascribed Weiner's strong showing to his popularity with women, even though his main rival for the Democratic nomination is New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn.
That popularity has been, in turn, put down to the support he has received from his wife.
Abedin was pregnant at the time of Weiner's resignation from Congress and she has since given birth to their son, Jordan.
New York's primary elections are due on September 10 ahead of the mayoral election on November 5.
Current mayor Michael Bloomberg was elected as an independent, but New York has traditionally been regarded as Democratic turf, and the winner of that party's primary usually has a strong chance of going on to run the city.