The notoriously private Huma Abedin stepped to the microphone at a hastily called press conference a short time ago to defend her husband, Anthony Weiner, as a new round of racy chat messages and lewd photos surfaced.
At a podium with a campaign sign tacked on the front, Abedin, clad in black, stood uncomfortably by Weiner’s side as he read from his prepared statement and added some impromptu remarks. At times, she forced a smile.
“To some degree, with 49 days left until primary day, I’m surprised this didn’t come out sooner,” Weiner said before dismissing as old news the chats, under which he used the screen name “Carlos Danger,” suggested getting a Chicago apartment for his anonymous chat friend so they could carry on an affair and said he could help her get a blogging j0b at Politico.
“Things are not that much more different than they were yesterday,” the New York mayoral candidate said, stressing that to the couple the latest revelation “doesn’t represent all that much that is new.”
He acknowledged “some of these things happened before my resignation; some of these things happened after.”
“I’m pleased and blessed that she has given me a second chance,” Weiner said before telling Abedin “how sorry I am that I did these things.”
“This was a very public thing that we had happen to us,” he added before turning the podium over to his wife.
With Weiner standing over her shoulder, Abedin nervously noted that it was the first time she’d spoken at a press conference despite hitting the campaign trail with him on neighborhood stops.
She said the sexting marked the “beginning of a time in our marriage that was very difficult and it took us a very long time to get through it.”
“It took a lot of work and a whole lot of therapy to get to a place where I could forgive him. It was not an easy choice,” Abedin continued, saying she decided to stay with Weiner “for me, for our son and for our family.”
“I didn’t know how it would work out but I did know I wanted to give it a try,” she said. Of the racy chats, she added, “I do strongly believe that is between us and our marriage.”
“I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him.”
Weiner took a handful of questions, saying Abedin “knew all along this process” of the yet-to-be-revealed cheating. “As I was more and more honest with her I told her everything.”
“It’s in our rearview mirror but it’s not far,” he added.
When asked if this meant he’ll be dropping out of the mayor’s race, Weiner said, “I’m sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race.”
When asked to explain his original statements that “some things that have been posted today are true and some are not,” Weiner refused to “get into a back and forth with people releasing things” and commenting on “whether they’re true or not.”