Anthony Weiner Apologizes For “Inappropriate Relationships,” Will Not Resign

After a week of denial, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted today that he had engaged in online relationships with several women.

After a bizarre start that included Andrew Brietbart hijacking the podium for fifteen minutes to answer reporters questions and demand an apologies from those who had accused him of fabricating stories, New York Congressman Anthony Weiner spoke to the press and admitted to several “inappropriate” relationships:

Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York apologized Monday for falsely claiming that his Twitter account had been hacked, after a lewd photo showed up over Memorial Day weekend. He admitted to having engaging in “several inappropriate relationships” with women he met online, but said he was not resigning.

So there you have it. Breibart and his cohorts apparently have more photos that will likely be released over the coming days, but Weiner admitting to a series of relationships would seem to sort of blunt the impact of those statements, and if he doesn’t want to resign there’s really nothing else that can be done here. The voters of New York’s 9th District, who re-elected him with a 20% margin in November 2010, will have their say in November 2012.

Now, can we go back to talking about something important?

Update: Further details from Politico:

A tearful Rep. Anthony Weiner admitted Monday that he sent lewd photographs and sexually suggestive messages to at least a half dozen women he’s met online over the last several years – including while he was married – but will not resign from office.

“I am deeply regretting what I have done, and I am not resigning,” the New York Democrat told reporters in an extraordinary press conference in Manhattan on Monday afternoon. “I am deeply sorry for the pain this has caused Huma, my wife, and my family.”

Weiner fessed up that he sent the crotch-shot photo of himself that was accidentally posted on Twitter at the end of May “as part of a joke to a woman in Seattle” and decided to claim he had been hacked after he realized the photo had been made public.

Sticking to the made up hacking story for days was “a hugely regrettable mistake,” Weiner said, and he is “so sorry” to have disrupted the Seattle woman’s life.

During the emotional press conference, Weiner said he was “embarrassed” that the photo became public and “didn’t want it to lead to other embarrassing things,” so he chose to “try to tell lies” to the press and public to get out of the situation.

Weiner said he spoke briefly to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) before taking the podium. “She said to be truthful and to say what you know and was thankful that I was doing that today,” he said.

The New York Democrat said that he does not believe that he’s violated House rules or his oath of office and insisted that he didn’t use any government resources to conduct the on-line relationships with various women.

Again and again as he spoke to reporters, Weiner apologized to his wife, an aide to Hillary Clinton, whom he married just under a year ago. Abedin was not in the room as Weiner addressed the media, and the congressman would not say where she was.

Weiner, who insisted he never had sex with or even met any of the women he talked to online, said the couple had every intention of staying together.

At some point during the press conference, the questions shifted from the facts of the allegations and the politics to the details of Weiner’s marriage. At that point it went from mildly amusing to sad and pathetic. It’s time for the press to drop this story (they won’t, of course).

Update II: Here’s the video:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Update III: House Majority Minority Leader Pelosi is calling for an Ethics Committee investigation of this matter:

use Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called Monday for an ethics committee investigation of Rep. Anthony Weiner to determine if government resources were used or House rules were violated in Weiner’s online relationships with women through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Weiner better have pretty much come clean today, because if there’s anything out there that he hasn’t admitted to then he may be toast if only because his own party will abandon him. At the very least, I’ve got to think that Weiner’s presumed candidacy for Mayor of New York in 2013 has taken a major hit.

FILED UNDER: Congress, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. ponce says:

    I hope they get Ioan Gruffudd to play him in the movie:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0344435/

    Possible title: Trick or Tweet

  2. legion says:

    And in case you needed reminding who the biggest penis in the house is, Breitbart hijacked the mikes to make sure people remembered that it’s actually all about him…

  3. Derrick says:

    What a nutcas Weiner is.

    But taking a meta view of this, again we can see the difference between left and right. Look at most of the blogs from the left like Baloon Juice, Daily Kos and others that have not only covered this idiocy but also had no problem castigating a House Representative on our side when he screws up. Contrast that with John Ensign’s handling on the Right where they barely mentioned that a sitting US Senator was actually commiting crimes by paying of his mistresses’s husband. Places like National Review might not have had 5 collective posts about this and all of them were the vanilla, “Ensign resigns” or “Ensign under investigation”. And don’t even mention that Santorum and Coburn got dragged into that ridiculousness. I bet they had more posts about Weiner today alone than they had about l’affaire Ensign.

    The Left in America isn’t immune from trying to cover up abuses on their side of the aisle, but the Right is very comfortable just ignoring reality.

  4. lunaticllama says:

    No. The media really likes talking about what Democratic pols do with their penises, but for whatever reason, don’t care about what Republicans do with theirs.

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    As usual the coverup/lame excuses/denial is the story that may end up having legs.

  6. Vast Variety says:

    Brietbart is living proof that the story of the boy who cried Wolf is a very important life lesson. At least Weiner didn’t go hiking up the Appalachian Trail.

  7. Dodd says:
  8. Never before have I seen so much time, on Twitter and on the blogs, wasted on a story that was so unimportant.

    Okay, I may have to reconsider that……but it’s close

  9. Actually, John this story has bored me to death. Which is why today is the first day I’ve done a post on it.

  10. Southern Hoosier says:

    Differences between a Democrats and a Republicans. Democrats have no public shame.

    Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) resigned from the House Wednesday evening effective immediately, an announcement that came just hours after a Web site reported that the married congressman had sent a shirtless image of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.

    http://goo.gl/RgQWU

  11. Larry Craig didn’t resign. And he pled guilty to a crime.

    David Vitter didn’t resign. And he solicited prostitutes in D.C. and Louisiana.

    Mark Sanford didn’t resign. And he left his post, lied about his whereabouts, failed to keep in contact with his staff, all while hiking the Appalachian Trail visiting his mistress in Argentina.

    It took the threat of expulsion from the Senate to get Jon Ensign to resign.

    Those are are Republican Southern Hoosier. So, you might want to check your premises

  12. I continue to be amazed at how stupid these guys are.

  13. @Steven

    Really? Honestly, the spectacle of men who act stupidly thinking it will impress women doesn’t really surprise me much.

    That said, you would think that it would be patently obvious to everyone in Washington by now that the cover up gets up in as much trouble as whatever act you might be trying to cover up.

  14. Southern Hoosier says:

    I think this is an unbiased study of Democrats vs. Republicans, when it comes to sex scandals.

    Republicans have more scandals (34 to 27), but Democrats have bigger ones, based on our methodology (13 out of the top 20).

    http://goo.gl/snKLg

  15. michael reynolds says:

    Our long national nightmare is over.

  16. Michael,

    Or something. Now, can we go back to talking about what matters, like Lindsay Lohan’s legal troubles?

  17. matt says:

    Ah always feels like 4chan when Dodd shows up…

    Assuming there are no laws broken I’m not too sure why this matters. Is it because it makes republican supports feel better about their “team” members that were busted breaking the law?

  18. matt says:

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been much in the way of puns made with his name in relation to the scandal..

  19. Minorkle says:

    People please! Have some sympathy. What if you were born with such an unfortunate name…Anthony. He should probably change his name to something more normal like, Oscar. Just sayin”

  20. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol dude looks like a shell-less ninja turtle with his shirt off…..I have seen enough!!! Burn the rest of those pics for the sake of humanity!!!!

  21. Southern Hoosier says:

    There are worse names out there,

    Harry Dick (November 22, 1920 – December 1, 2002) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played 12 games in the National Hockey League. Born in Port Colborne, Ontario, he played with the Chicago Black Hawks.

    http://goo.gl/49qhr

  22. Wayne says:

    Just to compare the difference in coverage between Lee and Weiner including Michael Reynolds’ comment on Lee

    “But seriously, WTF is going on with Republicans? Sexual repression is becoming a major contributing factor to Republicanism”

    Also Doug doesn’t seem to be such an apologist for Lee. He also didn’t make statements like it is up to voter to deal with him in next election or “It’s time for the press to drop this story”. Maybe it is just me but here are two OTB links on Lee so you can decide.

    Steven Taylor was pretty consistent though.

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/christopher-lee-r-ny-the-craigslist-congressman/

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/why-did-christopher-lee-resign-so-fast/

  23. Dodd says:

    Now, can we go back to talking about what matters, like Lindsay Lohan’s legal troubles?

    Fortunately, there was something about Palin in the news today.

    Also, Pelosi isn’t Majority Leader any more.

  24. Of course, Palin might actually run for President. Not that that is anything important

  25. @Wayne

    I literally was writing my post about Chris Lee in the lobby of the hotel was CPAC was being held while the story was breaking. I reported it as merely a factual event, and then did no follow-up. Take it as you will. Lee choose to resign for his own reasons.

  26. Drew says:

    “Never before have I seen so much time, on Twitter and on the blogs, wasted on a story that was so unimportant. Okay, I may have to reconsider that……but it’s close”

    This, from the poster boy for Palin obsession…….and right here at OTB.

    Get a life. It ain’t gonna happen.

  27. Clovis says:

    I was just hoping that you would learn to use “cohort” correctly.

    Oh well, we can always live in hope.

  28. Rock says:

    Humble pie is best served cold along with a side dish of crow.

  29. michael reynolds says:

    Now that he’s come clean and fallen on his sword will he be able pull it out in the next election?

    Sorry.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    I guess we’ll have to see how he poles.

  31. Wayne says:

    @ Doug

    That is believable since you didn’t go on and on bashing Lee in your post. I do find it interesting how certain people and media outlets concentrate on certain aspects depending on what letter behind someone’s name.

  32. mattb says:

    Wayne:

    I do find it interesting how certain people and media outlets concentrate on certain aspects depending on what letter behind someone’s name.

    The thing about that letter is that it is often shorthand for specific sorts of moral stances. So for example, Larry Craig has a historic record of voting/speaking out against gay rights issues. That it turns out that he might in fact be gay, and is caught in the act of allegedly soliciting another man, points to a seeming hippocracy that is what makes the story.

    The “D” typically is aligned with more progressive stances on sex — so in that respect, Weiner’s case, while stupid and unethical (and worthy of a frying pan to the back of the head), isn’t that much of a story off the bat… Until the denials and the hacking and the slow train wreck of a crash to tearful confession. See E. Massa for another example of that from recent times.

  33. “We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.” — C.S. Lewis

    But knowing that a liar, bounder and cad holds an important elected position is of no importance when Sarah Palin might run for President! Perhaps you should check your assumptions.

  34. Wiley Stoner says:

    Why would Doug bash anyone who is actually in the government when he can spend time dealing with his obsessive facination with Sarah Palin. Somehow when the President of the United States writes the wrong date in a visitors book or continues a toast after they start playing God save the Queen, in the Queens presence, we get not a peep from this lawyer, but if Sarah Palin speaks of partying like it is 1773 (the actual year of the Boston Tea Party) or that Paul Revere warned the British (which he did after he was taken captive by those same Brits) Mataconis goes off like a Icelandic volcano. I’m sorry Doug, but Palin is far more qualified to be President than you are to be a lawyer. Too bad you do not have a mind open enough to see the film Undefeated without prejudice. What would one expect from Michael Reynolds son. The pictures tell the turth.

  35. Jay Tea says:

    michael, you’re on fire in this thread. I hereby withdraw a full 25% of my criticisms of you.

    Doug’s right — there are far more important stories to discuss today. For example, did you hear that Fox News accompanied a story on Sarah Palin with a picture of Tina Fey impersonating her?

    A scandal involving one of the more prominent and popular Democratic firebrands in the House… not so much. Especially since they don’t harp on “family values.” They never promise to NOT be scumbags, after all, so it’s not their fault when they turn out to be scumbags.

    J.

  36. Jay Tea,

    A one-off post from this morning about an amusing media mistake is your comeback. Massive, massive fail.

  37. Tano says:

    Republicans have more scandals (34 to 27), but Democrats have bigger ones,

    yes indeed….it does follow….

  38. André Kenji says:

    Chris Lee was decent enough to resign his seat. Weiner is not.

  39. Hey Norm says:

    A couple points:
    Weiner has done nothing illegal. Embarrasing but not illegal. If everyone guilty of sexting or phone sex resigns tomorrow the world would probably come to a stop. At least a slow crawl.
    Chris Lee resigned so quickly because, it was rumored at the time, he was chasing tranny’s. If all the tranny chasers resigned tomorrow we probably wouldn’t notice. Far more damaging and far more Embarrasing in a party intent on dictating sexual orientation.
    Sarah Palin is, as the last candidate for executive office, the de facto leader of her party. When she makes specious claims it is rightfully news. Unfortunate but true.
    So…lee did the right thing, there’s no need for Weiner to resign, and Palin unfortunately is going to continue to take the spotlight from serious so-called republican candidates.

  40. Jay Tea says:

    Hoosier, there’s a flaw with that study. Not that I want to defend a vile scumbag — or even sound like I’m defending a vile scumbag — but Mark Foley was NOT sending explicit messages to underage pages. He was very, very carefully trolling for the “barely legal” pages — he’d go after them on their 18th birthday, but if he found out they weren’t 18, he’d note when they would turn 18 and plan on revisiting them then.

    Disgusting, reprehensible, vile, but NOT illegal. He went as close to the line as he safely could, but as I recall he never crossed into Gerry Studds territory.

    J.

  41. Jay Tea says:

    Doug, you’re the one who implied that “important” was your criterion in explaining why you didn’t touch this story first. If “amusing” also works for you, then you got a seriously messed-up funnybone if you pass on “Weiner’s Wiener.”

    And Doug, if you missed it, I want to tell you here — your entry on the Double Palins caption contest should get first AND second places. That was PERFECT.

    J.

  42. jukeboxgrad says:

    Jay Tea:

    Foley was NOT sending explicit messages to underage pages.

    Wrong. He was:

    ABC News reported on October 5 that in 2002, Foley e-mailed one page with an invitation to stay at the congressman’s home in exchange for oral sex. The page, who was 17 years old at the time, declined the offer. … After the initial story on the e-mails, other pages contacted ABC and the Washington Post, providing transcripts of sexually explicit instant messaging (IM) conversations from 2003 that Foley had with two pages under the age of 18 at the time

    There were certain cases where he would restrain himself until the kid turned 18, but there were other cases where he did not.

    And this is the best part:

    Foley was chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, which introduced legislation targeting sexual predators and created stricter guidelines for tracking them.

    So what you said as a joke:

    Especially since they don’t harp on “family values.”

    Is actually an important point. Because a sanctimonious jerk is noticably worse than someone who is simply a jerk.

  43. Herb says:

    “Ah always feels like 4chan when Dodd shows up…”

    Yeah, look at him go. Bagged him a Democrat…..finally.

  44. Joe R. says:

    Now, can we go back to talking about something important?

    You posted the friggin’ story.

  45. bains says:

    Now, can we go back to talking about something important?

    Yes, especially an out of context quote that Sarah Palin made. Now that is really important.

    As I said to you last week when this story broke, what interests me most is how the press acted. Elizebeth Scalia has the best summation I’ve seen:

    This is the problem with the mainstream media in a nutshell. They “know” the people they’re supposed to be covering, and they consider themselves “friends” of those people. And it has ruined them. As you listen to Walters, all you see is passionate advocacy; not a newswoman concerned with the truth of a story, but a partisan doing everything she can to divert attention from a story she doesn’t like — even to comparing a private citizen on a bus to a sitting congressman having some sort of cyber-engagement in his office — and championing her “friend.”

    And you Doug, played a similar part with your “move along, nothing to see here,” attitude. There is nothing wrong with passionate advocacy in and of itself. No, the problems arise when a passionate advocate is pretending to be a dispassionate observer.

  46. Joe R. says:

    If everyone guilty of sexting or phone sex resigns tomorrow the world would probably come to a stop.

    You left out the part where Weiner claimed to be the victim of a crime, and sat by silently as people were accused of said crime, except for when he decided to open his mouth and repeat that he was the victim of a crime.

  47. Southern Hoosier says:

    jukeboxgrad says:
    Monday, June 6, 2011 at 23:24
    Jay Tea:

    Foley was NOT sending explicit messages to underage pages.
    Wrong. He was:

    ABC News reported on October 5 that in 2002, Foley e-mailed one page with an invitation to stay at the congressman’s home in exchange for oral sex. The page, who was 17 years old at the time, declined the offer

    Jay Tea is correct. The age of consent in Washington DC is 16. 17 is not under age.

  48. Rock says:

    As you listen to (Babara) Walters, all you see is passionate advocacy; not a newswoman concerned with the truth of a story, but a partisan doing everything she can to divert attention from a story she doesn’t like

    Barbara Walters knows something about playing hide the Weiner wiener with politicians.

    In Walters’s autobiography Audition she claimed that she had an affair in the 1970s with Edward Brooke, then a married United States Senator from Massachusetts.

  49. jukeboxgrad says:

    The age of consent in Washington DC is 16.

    That’s correct, but DC is not the only relevant location. Foley was hitting on pages that lived elsewhere. That’s explained here. Keep trying. Jay Tea is still wrong.

    Also keep in mind the laws aren’t terribly logical. It could be legal (under local or state law) to have sex with a 16-year old, but also be illegal (under federal law) to use the internet to solicit them. Foley himself backed a law that banned “transfer of obcene material to minors.” That’s a problem, since Foley had obscene chats with minors.

  50. Jay Tea says:

    juke, I’m not trying to argue the morality of the case, or the logic of the law. I was just noting that Scumbag Foley was… um… Christ, this sounds like I’m defending him… “making a good-faith effort” to stay within the letter of the law. I suspect it was because the degenerate scumbag was willing to take some risks, but not jail.

    In brief, he was no Gerry Studds or Mel Reynolds.

    J.

  51. jukeboxgrad says:

    “making a good-faith effort” to stay within the letter of the law

    That’s quite a stretch, since his own law banned “transfer of obscene material to minors,” and he had obscene chats with minors.

    And the factual statement you made (“Foley was NOT sending explicit messages to underage pages”) is simply wrong.

    he was no Gerry Studds

    That’s a pretty ironic comparison, given what SH said, since Studds had sex with someone who was over the age of consent. Tell us again which law he broke?

    And Mel Reynolds had the bad judgment to have sex in Illinois instead of DC. What he did would not have been a crime in DC.

    And neither Reynolds not Studds were from the party that lectures everyone about ‘family values.’

  52. Jay Tea says:

    And neither Reynolds not Studds were from the party that lectures everyone about ‘family values.’

    Pajamas Media’s Zombie has an interesting take on that argument — one I’ve come close to, but never quite clinched.

    In brief, the conservative statement seems to be “we have a moral basis to our philosophy. We won’t always succeed in living up to it, but we will at least try.”

    The liberal statement seems to be “our philosophy is fundamentally amoral. We make no pretenses about being decent folks. So when we occasionally have reprehensible scumbags, oh well — we never promised anything different.”

    Which dovetails with the classic line from Animal House — “You (frakked) up. You trusted us.”

    That hardly seems like something you should brag about, juke. But then again, I’m no liberal.

    J.

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    Pajamas Media’s Zombie has an interesting take on that argument

    It’s only “interesting” to people who ignore the gross fallacy at the heart of his “take:”

    here’s the key — for the liberals to be let off the hook when they do something immoral, then that means they must profess an ideology with no moral claims whatsoever

    What he’s doing is known as the “false dilemma:”

    A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of false choice, black-and-white thinking or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options.

    Your friend Mr. Zombie is essentially saying that there are only two ideologies, with respect to the concept of morality:

    A) An ideology that places a high priority on telling other people how to live

    B) An ideology that rejects all “moral claims”

    That’s obviously nonsense, because it ignores lots of other possible options, like this one:

    C) An ideology that places a priority on improving your own behavior, instead of putting lots of energy into judgments, complaints and laws that are targeted at everyone else.

    And aside from that blatant fallacy, he’s also tossing in a straw man. No one is calling for “liberals to be let off the hook when they do something immoral.” That’s not the claim. The claim is that a ‘family values’ R who gets caught in a sex scandal is both immoral and a hypocrite, whereas the D is just immoral. That doesn’t mean it’s OK to be immoral. It just means that being immoral and a hypocrite is even worse than just being immoral.

    In brief, the conservative statement seems to be “we have a moral basis to our philosophy. We won’t always succeed in living up to it, but we will at least try.”

    No, that’s not the “conservative statement.” Here’s the conservative statement: do as I say, not as I do.

    The liberal statement seems to be “our philosophy is fundamentally amoral. We make no pretenses about being decent folks. So when we occasionally have reprehensible scumbags, oh well — we never promised anything different.”

    No, that’s not the liberal statement. Here’s the liberal statement: government shouldn’t be in the business of telling people how to conduct their private lives.