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More Lewd Messages from Ex-Congressman; Britain's New Prince Makes Royal Debut; Prince William Then And Now; Live Anthony Weiner Press Conference; Anthony Weiner And Wife On Scandal
Aired July 23, 2013 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, the world gets its first glimpse of the new royal prince. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, and her husband, Prince William, they emerged from the hospital a little while ago and introduced all of us to the third in line to the throne. Just ahead, you're going to see what they told reporters about being new parents, the baby's looks and what we can expect -- as far as a name is concerned, at least when we can expect a name.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: All that coming up.
But let's begin with some breaking news. You're looking at live pictures of where we expect the embattled candidate for the New York City mayoral race, the former New York congressman, Anthony Weiner, to emerge momentarily. He resigned from office some two years ago as a United States congressman amid a very public sexting scandal.
Now, some more sexually tinged exchanges with an unnamed woman have surfaced online. He's confirming that some of those are, in fact, real.
All of this coming right at the height of his run to become the next mayor of New York City.
Let's bring in our chief Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash -- Dana, as we await Weiner's news conference or statement, whatever he's going to do, give our views who may just be tuning in a little background, what has developed today.
DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you just laid it out very well, Wolf. The basic gist is that on the Internet today, we saw a Web site post some exchanges and some pictures with Anthony Weiner and an unnamed woman. And since then, he has released a statement saying some are true, some are not true. We don't know what are and what aren't. All of them are pretty sexually explicit.
The key question, though, is when these took place. He, of course, left two years ago, saying he was going to go to rehab, going into rehab, saying he was going to change his life. He said the same thing when he announced his candidacy for mayor, which he is engaged in now.
So this Web site called The Dirty -- CNN has not independently confirmed it -- but it says that these exchanges took place last year, well after he said that he had become, in his words, a new man.
Let me actually read the written statement that he put out. It's pretty lengthy, but it's important, I think, in most part, because it's really carefully worded.
Here's what he said: "I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out. And today, they have. As I've said in the past, these things that I did wrong were -- I did -- were wrong and hurtful to my wife and have 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. I have apologized to Huma" -- who is his wife -- "and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness. I want to again say that I'm 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."
Now, again, this question, this line, Wolf, where he talks about the fact that it's caused them to go through "challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress," what does that mean?
Does that mean that what he did was after he resigned from Congress or that they're just still dealing with the ripple effects from what he did before he left Congress?
That really is the key question, of course, because he's been doing relatively well in the polls. Down lately, but he still has -- it looks like he might be within striking distance, at least for a run- off in the primaries in September. That's because, you know, New Yorkers, just like people across the country, were willing to give him a second chance.
But, you know, a third chance and fourth chance, maybe not so much.
BLITZER: So will he just make a statement now or will he answer reporters' questions?
BASH: We don't know. The campaign said it's going to be a press conference, so, hopefully, he will answer questions. I, and I'm sure lots of other people, have been trying to reach his campaign, ask that key question as to the timing, because he doesn't explicitly say yes, this happened after I resigned from Congress or not. And I got no answers back. So hopefully we will be able to -- we will hear reporters who are there ask those questions and maybe we'll get an answer.
BLITZER: All right, we'll see what he has to say. We'll monitor it, and, of course, bring it to our viewers. He hasn't begun yet. We'll stay on top of this story.
Dana, thanks very much.
Let's move on to a truly iconic moment today. Catherine and William emerging from St. Mary's Hospital to huge cheers and applause with their new bundle of joy, the prince of Cambridge, heir to the British throne. The proud parents walked right up to reporters with the baby in their arms, William joking about how the little prince has his mother's looks and has way more hair than he does.
But he says they're still working on a name. Soon after William snapped him in his car seat, they drove -- and drove everyone home to Kensington Palace, where they are right now.
CNN royal correspondent, Max Foster, is watching what's going on, together with the co-anchor of CNN'S "NEW DAY," Kate Bolduan, who's there, as well -- Kate, let me start with you.
What an amazing time to be in London.
Give us the very latest.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A very exciting time.
And we're dealing with a bit of a bug assault, so pardon us for swatting bugs in the middle of this live shot -- Wolf.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Who knew we'd have to...
BOLDUAN: Who knew?
FOSTER: -- (INAUDIBLE).
BOLDUAN: Is it something I did?
I'm so sorry.
It's been quite a day to be in London. I flew in early this morning. And then it -- there was a big waiting game, really, waiting and waiting and waiting, longer lines, bigger crowds, everyone waiting for that very big moment. And for that very big moment, that is where Max Foster comes in.
FOSTER: You talk about waiting, Kate.
I mean how many hours have you been in the city?
BOLDUAN: I should not be talking about waiting, because you've been waiting for weeks outside that hospital.
FOSTER: Pretty much, a couple of weeks. I was living on a pavement for a week, yes.
BOLDUAN: So we -- everyone saw the video, saw that huge moment when William and Kate came out with the new baby. But you were right there on the ground. You've been on the ground for us this whole time. Walk us through that moment.
What was it like?
FOSTER: Well, it did live up to expectations, didn't it, I think, in the end. And suddenly, it sort of happened after all of that waiting. And it was choreographed, I can tell you that.
They told us what was going to happen. And that's where particularly Kate is amazing. She does exactly what was planned. So they came out and they stood for the photographs, came down the steps. William made a few words to the camera. How...
BOLDUAN: And it was so loud, you couldn't hear the -- hear what he was saying.
FOSTER: No, exactly. But that was the -- all the photographers going, "Show us his face, show us his face," because they couldn't see the baby's face. And then there was a bit of kerfuffle behind us.
But what struck me was how calm she was, how happy he was.
BOLDUAN: And then that little moment when you saw the baby's hands come up over the blanket. It was very -- it was just precious to see them all together.
FOSTER: Yes, they're a unit. And they were working on that. Yesterday, they had this period of four hours which -- between the birth and the announcement. They wanted to have some -- those flies are something.
BOLDUAN: It's like a commissary at this point.
FOSTER: They have a bonding moment. They wanted to do that. They wanted to get know their baby. And I think that came across, actually.
BOLDUAN: I think so, too.
What -- so the focus has now turned to here, Kensington Palace...
BOLDUAN: -- where the family has come. And they will be getting some, I guess, much needed private time. This is their new home. They're waiting to get into their new renovated apartment, not what would consider, really, an apartment in the United States. It's about 20 rooms, if you want to talk -- call that an apartment.
What's next for them as a family?
FOSTER: I think they just want us to get the hell out of here. They want to have some time together. They're going to want William and Pippa, for example, and James Middleton to meet this baby, and the close friends. I think they -- I mean what was going on here was quite interesting. They brought this baby back to Kensington Palace. This month, they brought all of their staff to Kensington Palace.
An aide told me that William really wanted Harry in Kensington Palace.
FOSTER: And this is a whole new household, a whole new thing. They've come away from Prince Charles and Clarence House. They're setting up home here and an office. I think you're going to see a development here, the House of Cambridge. And it is very much William in the center of it, and working in partnership with Kate and Harry. And the baby is in the mix, as well.
BOLDUAN: And, also, you know, throughout the relationship, the marriage and now the birth, there was always these connections between Kate and William and Diana. And there is and continues to be that kind of poignant connection. This is where Diana lived, as well.
FOSTER: It is. And it was the hospital where William was born to Diana.
FOSTER: And it was interesting today. A lot of photographers picked up on this. As she was holding the baby, you could see Diana's ring so clearly there, as well.
BOLDUAN: Quite a moment.
FOSTER: Yes. And it's difficult for William because misses Diana and wants to keep her memory alive, but he also wants Kate to spark in her own way and not to live in her shadow.
BOLDUAN: And, of course, the next big waiting moment is for the name.
FOSTER: It is. And William admitted today that they hadn't decided on a name. And, you know, I can see that. You know, even of they decided on a name, when you see the baby, perhaps it doesn't go. So he says -- he used a news line, actually. He said, we're going to come straight back to you as soon as we have a name.
BOLDUAN: He's quite media savvy, those (INAUDIBLE).
FOSTER: Yes. That's true.
BOLDUAN: So we've got no time line, but it is -- it will be when it is.
FOSTER: It is. There is some suggestion that there's going to be a TV moment as they sign the birth certificate. So maybe they're going to save it for that.
BOLDUAN: We'll give them a moment for it, some.
A lot going on here, Wolf. A very big day. And Max has been following it all for us. And I, fortunately, got to fly in for the last moment to have some fun.
BLITZER: Are you sticking around...
BOLDUAN: Back to you -- Wolf.
BLITZER: -- for another day there, Kate, or are you heading back to New York?
BOLDUAN: I'll be -- we'll be anchoring the show from here tomorrow morning. A lot more. We've got to wait for the name. Who knows, they might surprise us and give us the name early?
BLITZER: You've got to be there. You're there, you might as well...
BOLDUAN: We will wait and see and I'll be depending on Max to bring me some reporting on that.
BLITZER: Kate, anchors, co-anchors, "NEW DAY," starting at 6:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning. We'll be watching, Kate, as we do every single morning.
Max, don't go too far away.
We've got more questions for you, as well.
Let's bring in our royal panel right now, our royal commentator, the royal correspondent for "The Mail" on Sunday, Katie Nicholl. She's the author of the book "William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls."
Also joining us, CNN royal commentator, Victoria Arbiter -- Victoria, what do you think?
What was your reaction to what we saw when they walked out of the hospital?
VICTORIA ARBITER, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I think it was a very poignant moment today. It was emotional. It was exciting. It was wonderful to see them so happy and calm and relaxed. I mean, really, to think that Kate had a 10 hour labor just yesterday. And she walked out looking as though motherhood has come perfectly naturally to her.
And her and William were very close, connected, sharing holding the baby. So it was a very personal moment that we got to enjoy.
And as Max said, you know, there were moments that reminded you of Diana walking out of those same doors. And I think William, we're so used to seeing those iconic photographs at every stage of his life, where he's reaching a milestone. And so, again, her presence is sorely missed. But I think for him to be going back to his childhood home with his new baby today will have been a very special moment for him.
BLITZER: Katie, what was your reaction when you saw the couple walk out with the baby boy? KATIE NICHOLL, AUTHOR, "WILLIAM AND HARRY": Oh, would it be terrible to say I had a little tear in my eye?
I found it very emotional. It's been a long, long wait. And particularly for a couple -- they -- you know, they wanted to start a family, really, when they got married. They put their baby plans on hold because, as Kate realized when she married into this British royal family, duty comes before self.
So it's something that they've wanted for rather a long time.
And they just looked so proud, so happy and so emotional. So it was a very, very moving moment.
BLITZER: It was impressive, Victoria, the way William handled the baby, and also when they -- the three of them later got into the car and he put the baby in the car seat in the back and he got behind the wheel. They tried to make it all look as natural as possible, any couple leaving a hospital. But obviously, this is not any couple, Victoria.
ARBITER: It was very smooth. I was so impressed, because so many fathers find it immensely difficult figuring out the car seat.
You see them getting enraged in the car park as their wife is preparing to leave the hospital.
And so William, it was like one deft, swift move, baby in. He hopped in the driver's seat and off they went.
And so I'm sure he's been practicing at home, because knowing that he was going to be doing that before the world's media, he wanted to make sure it was smooth and seamless.
BLITZER: All right, guys, stand by for a moment, because we have a lot more to assess as far as this historic day is concerned. We're going to have much more on this story coming up.
Also, once again, we're awaiting a news conference. Anthony Weiner, the candidate for the New York City mayoral race, getting ready to address new allegations of sexting that just came out today. We'll have coverage of that once he gets behind the microphones.
Also later, that iconic moment, Prince William on the steps of the hospital with his new baby, very reminiscent of some similar moments 31 years ago, when his parents stood in the same place with him.
BLITZER: You're looking at live pictures from New York City. Anthony Weiner who's a candidate for -- to become the next mayor of New York City. He's about to make a statement, maybe answer reporter's questions amid new allegations today of a sexting scandal, new allegations. He's issued a written statement. We'll see what he has to say. We'll monitor this new conference. We'll have coverage for you. Stand by for that. Let's get back to London right now. Seeing Prince William and his wife and new baby on the steps of St. Mary's Hospital today. It was hard not to think of almost the exact same moment 31 years ago, that would be June 22nd, 1982, when Prince Charles and Princess Diana stood on the very same steps to give the world its first glimpse of him. Very nostalgic. A lot of us remember that day as well.
We're back with our royal panel. Joining us our royal commentator and royal correspondent for the "Mail on Sunday," Katie Nicholl. She's still with us. Also, CNN royal historian, Kate Williams. Kate, compare and contrast what we saw today as opposed to what we saw, what, three decades ago.
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: Well, when Diana did that moment coming out on the steps with William, it was unforgettable. And partly unforgettable because no one necessarily expected it because, of course, before then, before William's birth, royal children were born at home. Prince Charles was born right there in Buckingham Palace. And so, there was no chance of getting to see him because he was simply at home.
So, when Diana stepped out in what looked like one of her maternity dresses accompanied by Charles looking so happy and so thrilled, it really became this iconic moment that every time people think of William, they often think of that moment. So -- but Diana has -- she looked back on it. We've read her saying in her autobiography that she was very scared. She was very nervous. She burst into tears afterwards.
What was the difference was William and Kate today, they looked so relaxed. They looked so happy and so thrilled. They spoke to the press and you wouldn't think from the way they spoke to the press that they were in front of the world media. Thousands and thousands of and thousands of people across the world watching.
They just seemed like they were having a chat with a few friends, you know, a big pair of lungs (ph), he's heavy. We're still thinking about the name. They just look so happy. You know, also, they going to -- exhausting experience. They seemed as if they were absolutely taking to it like ducks to water.
BLITZER: It was interesting, Katie, if you take a look at the two men, Prince Charles, obviously, wearing a jacket and tie, Prince William much more casual. Prince Charles getting in the car, he's not driving. Prince William, he gets into the car, he's driving after he does something that is obviously necessary nowadays, it wasn't necessary -- it wasn't done three decades ago.
He actually puts the baby in the car seat before moving on. Compare and contrast the two men for us a little bit, Katie.
KATIE NICHOLL, ROYAL CORRESPONDENT, "MAIL ON SUNDAY": Well, you're right. It's an interesting comparison. And it does come down to generation of things. I think William is very much representative of the monarchy moving forward and modernizing. He's a soldier. He has a regular job. He takes a regular salary. He lives in a very regular house in Anglesey in Wales.
Yes, of course, he carries out official engagements and public duties but not on the same level as his father. And I think, you know, Prince William has spoken about some modernization of the monarchy and he says modernization is a hard word to use with the monarchy because, of course, the monarchy is all about tradition and things not changing.
But William has brought his own unique touch to the royal family, a bit like his mother did. (INAUDIBLE) and around the world, on tours and engagement, you very rarely see Prince William in a suit. You never see Prince Charles out of a suit. It's something that you picked up on, but it's quite indicative of these two different ideologies, and somewhere in the middle, they meet and it works.
BLITZER: Kate, the two women, we know that Kate is, what, 31 years old. But Diana at that time, I think she was only like 20 or 21 years old. Isn't that right?
WILLIAMS: That's so true. Diana was very young. She's 21. She was this young mother. I mean, it's amazing now when we think about how youthful she was and how young she was when she had two children.
Kate wears Diana's ring. We know (ph) from the engagement that William said it was so important to him that she did wear Diana's ring, but he knows it's difficult for Kate because she doesn't want her to seem as if she's in the shadow of this glamorous, wonderful woman that people will never forget. I think what we have to remember is Diana was only a few years older than William and Kate when she did actually die in 1997.
And she just has seen so much and lived so many lives that we -- forget how young she was. But she absolutely, as Katie was saying, it was Diana who made the difference. The royals were -- she was a breath of fresh air and especially with her approach to her parenting. She wanted to break tradition and go to a hospital.
Also, she wanted to be with her children to give this moral (ph) loving environment, to take them out, take them to amusement parks, to cinema, all these things that Charles had never really has as a young boy. The queen did go away when Charles was only just a little baby and left him with the nannies. That was the way it works was in those days. She missed his first steps. She missed his first teeth.
That was the way it works. Diana wouldn't miss a single thing. She wanted to be absolutely there in her boys' lives. She was a creative, imaginative, devoted mother. And even people here in many ways could never criticize her as a mother, and that's exactly what William and Kate want to bring into their own child's life. The difference is they'll be doing in the glare of a 24-hour media, camera phones, internet. Security and privacy is going to be much more difficult.
BLITZER: And this couple trying to just be an average couple if you just didn't know them. We didn't know it was William and Kate. You would think another couple leaving the hospital with a baby, getting in the car and driving off. They're trying to project as much of a normal relationship as possible and I think it's significant.
All right. We're going to continue this conversation. Ladies, don't go too far away. Once again, we're waiting for Anthony Weiner, the candidate to become the next mayor of New York City. He's involved in another sexting scandal that emerged today. We're going to see what he has to say. He's getting ready to go to the microphones.
We assume he's supposed to go about 22 minutes ago. He's running a little late. We'll monitor that and get to you what he has to say.
Also, there's been some wild reaction in Britain and beyond as the world gets its first glimpse of a future king. There it is.
Plus, the royal perks. The closer look at the extraordinary childhood. That's coming up.
BLITZER: Let's get some more now on the debut of Britain's newest royal, the still unnamed baby of the duke and duchess of Cambridge, the third in line to the throne. There they were earlier today emerging from the hospital. CNN's Becky Anderson is outside Buckingham palace right now. She's getting reaction. I assume a lot of the folks still very, very excited. What are you seeing there, Becky?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's been a wonderful atmosphere here. When the gilded easel was put on the front court (ph) of Buckingham Palace last night, the crowds began to swell. We talked to people from all over the world. It was just incredibly excited, whether they were from the U.K. or from other parts around the globe. Just incredibly excited about what has been a really monumental 28 hours. Not as many people out here tonight.
We do know that the queen is still in residence here. The royal standard is flying behind me at Buckingham Palace. We also know she's scheduled to take the train, the royal train, to Balmoral, their Scottish retreat for the summer, and that is a trip which has been planned for some time, among that she was eager to keep on schedule for. So, we're looking to that for the end of the week. As I say, the crowds thinning a little bit here.
So, we do expect to see the royal family at least from Buckingham Palace move into Scotland next week for the summer. Much talk tonight about where Kate and William and their new baby will go. Some suggestions that it could be Kate's home in Bucklebury. You talk to people who really know the inside track on the royal family, they will tell you that it's possibly unlikely that will happen.
The security would have to be really intense there, even though it's a place that they enjoy a lot. Kate and William certainly feel very happy there. So, the betting is at this point that they will possibly join the queen at Balmoral where they will get some peace and some security to enjoy one of these incredibly important first days and weeks of this addition to their family. I mean, what wonderful pictures we saw today. You know, you talk to anybody around Buckingham Palace today, lots of excitement, just a sense of, I guess, relief that everything went well and a sense that going forward he will be looking forward to seeing the new prince. We're wondering what his name will be, lots of betting at this point. But we just don't know. So, just a sense of wonderment about what is this British royal family, some pomp and pageantry today.
A 41-gun salute here at Green Park. The bells tolled across the city. So, tonight, things have calmed down a lot. The city of London continues as normal, very normal. It's as if nothing had happened really tonight, but you just know at the palace behind me, a lot of excitement. We don't think the queen has seen this baby yet.
So, they will, I'm sure, in the next couple of days, bring the nipper as it were to see the great granny. And then, like I say, as a family, they'll decide where they want to go from here on in, whether it's Balmoral or somewhere else -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Nice picture of that baby, that future king of England as he obviously will be. There he is. He's waving a little bit at us. All right. Becky, thanks very much.
The newest royal now with his parents at Kensington Palace in London. Kate Bolduan is there as well. She's joining us once again. Kate, I know you've been taking a closer look at some of perks in store for this newest royal. What can this baby expect?
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And perks they sure are, Wolf. I mean, this is a baby who may not even have a name quite yet or at least one that we don't know at this moment, but one thing that we do is that this baby begins a life of unparalleled privilege. Further proof, it's good to be the future king.
BOLDUAN (voice-over): Most babies born into the world feel pretty content with a warm blanket and a regular supply of milk. But a certain new addition to planet Earth and one with royal blood is set to enjoy a few extra perks.
NICHOLL: In terms of luxury, glamour and lifestyle, it really going to tickle the boxes. It will certainly be a baby that will never want for anything, a baby that will be raised in palaces and have chefs. Have a team of people really to look after him.
BOULDAN: She's not kidding. Some of the perks will include access to five castles, three protection officers, a fleet of royal vehicles and three royal nurseries. Not so bad for someone who was just born.
KATE WILLIAMS, ROYAL HISTORIAN: This is a tiny baby but is destined to be one of the richest people in the world. The queen is of course one of the richest people in Britain, one of the richest people in the world. And not only does she have liquid cash, she's obviously got incredible houses, fantastic art, antiques, horses. She has a huge amount of wealth. She's one of the biggest landowners in Britain, and that's the wealth this baby is coming into.
BOLDUAN: Princess Diana took her own small children around the world with her. And this baby boy is bound to be living the same jet-set lifestyle.
NICHOLL: Point is that this is an HRH. And in being HRH, you're not normal.
BOLDUAN: Still, it's not all jewels and fairy tales just yet.
NICHOLL: The baby will not have its own crown quite yet. Certainly the crown itself, the queen's crown, is very heavy and we know weighs nearly as much as the baby itself.
BOLDUAN: Baby Cambridge will have to wait for his own coronation for that.
BOLDUAN: But before all of that, Wolf, as you well know, the little prince and his parents will finally be settling in here at Kensington Palace for their first night together at home. Wolf?
BLITZER: Sounds like a fun night for all of them. All right, Kate, thanks very much. Our own Kate Bolduan in London. Much more on the royal baby's debut just ahead, including the moment he appeared for the entire world to see. You're going to see every minute of that, including their comments, the parents' comments to the news media standing outside.
BLITZER: Happening now, the first glimpse of the future British king, and a closer look at what it's like growing up as an heir to the throne.
Also, passengers speaking out about the chaos and confusion of their landing -- emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport.
And the scandal that cost him a seat in Congress reignites. More sexual pictures and messages from the New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner emerge. We're standing by for his news conference.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: And here is Anthony Weiner, the former Democratic Congressman, now a Democratic candidate for mayor of New York about to speak.
(BEGIN LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE COVERAGE)
ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK MAYORAL CANDIDATE: Good afternoon. Take your time. Take your time.
You ready to go?
Good -- good afternoon. My name's Anthony Weiner, Democratic candidate for mayor of the city of New York.
I have 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 many challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress.
While some of the 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 have apologized to my wife, Huma, and I'm grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and I have had her forgiveness.
I want to again say how very sorry I am to anyone who has received -- was at the receiving end of these messages and the disruption that this has caused. And my wife, as I have said -- my wife and I, as I have said, are moving forward together.
To some degree, with 49 days left until primary day, perhaps I'm surprised that more things didn't come out sooner. I'm responsible for this behavior that led us to be in this place. But, in many ways, things are not that much different than they were yesterday.
This behavior that I did was problematic, to say the least, destructive, to say the most, caused many stresses and strains in my marriage. But I'm pleased and blessed that she has given me a second chance.
For the past several months, I have been asking New Yorkers to also give me another chance to show them that I had a vision for the middle class and those struggling to make it and that I wanted to move forward.
It is perfectly reasonable for people to ask about this chapter in my life, to be curious about it, and I'm going to be there and try to answer those questions as best I can. It is also perfectly understandable that all of you are doing your job being here in these great numbers. And I'm sure it's not just because of the mayoral forum we're going to have in a few minutes.
But, all that being said, let me just reiterate to my wife how sorry I am that I did these things and how sorry I am to the people that got these messages for any inconvenience or embarrassment they have caused.
Now, some have asked the question, where does this fit in some timeline, some timeline of the continuum of the resignation. The resignation was not a point in time that was nearly as important to my wife and me as the challenges in our marriage and the challenges of the things that I had done and working through them.
Some of these things happened before my resignation. Some of them happened after, but the fact is that that was also the time that my wife and I were working through some things in our marriage.
I'm glad these things are behind us. I know that 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.
And now I have a chance to do something I haven't had a chance to do on the campaign yet. Huma, as you know, has been out there with me recently, and she had a few words that she wanted to say.
So, my amazing wife, Huma Abedin.
HUMA ABEDIN, WIFE OF ANTHONY WEINER: Hi. Good evening.
As many of you who have followed this campaign know, I have spent a good deal out on the campaign trail at churches and street fairs, parades. But this is the first time I have spoken at a press conference. And you'll have to bear with me because I'm pretty nervous and I wrote down what I wanted to say.
When we faced this publicly two years ago, it was the beginning of a time in our marriage that was very difficult, and it took us a very long time to get through it. 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 our son, and for our family.
I didn't know how it would work out. But I did know that I wanted to give it a try. Anthony's made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after. But I do very strongly believe that is between us and our marriage.
We discussed all of this before Anthony decided to run for mayor. So really what I want to say is -- I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him, and as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward.
Thank you very much. Thank you for your time.
ANTHONY WEINER (D), NY MAYORAL CANDIDATE: I'll be glad to take one or two questions. Don't go far.
REPORTER: When did your wife find out that there were messages after the resignation?
WEINER: She knew all along this process as I was more and more honest with her. I told her everything so we -- this is something we knew going into the decision about whether I would run. (CROSSTALK)
WEINER: What is that question?
REPORTER: Is this over? Are you in touch with any women right now? Why should New Yorkers believe you're not going to relapse if you are mayor?
WEINER: This is entirely behind me. It was when we decided. So, when I decided to get in and we had this conversation. That is why, if you remember, the early days of the campaign, people were pressing me for is there more out there, and I said yes. I said that -- I said that there was.
And so, to some degree, this was something that we had in front of us as Huma just acknowledged that we -- that we knew might come up and we decided that, look, this was something that we had worked through together, something we put behind us and something we wanted to keep behind us.
But as I've said, it's in our rearview mirror but it's not far. We still work every day.
REPORTER: New pictures or old pictures?
REPORTER: When you said there was more out there, you didn't say there was more out there you at the point after you resigned in 2011. How do you explain that? And this latest assertation, the latest chat was as recent as August of last year? (INAUDIBLE).
WEINER: Yes, I mean, this -- I said there were more things out there. There were -- this is -- you have as a fixed time the resignation as the important moment in the public discussion. That was when the public got a glimpse into something that we had been working on before, during and since, and this behavior of mine was part of that.
And when we -- we went through this process and we became closer and worked through some of these challenges, this we put it behind us. I put it behind me. And frankly, we're in a lot better place today or else I probably would not have run for mayor.
REPORTER: When was the last --
WEINER: I can't -- I can't say exactly. Sometime last summer I think.
REPORTER: Was it after you told "People" magazine or your wife, told "People" magazine, it took us a lot of work to get us today --
REPORTER: After that? WEINER: Yes.
REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) calls you to drop out of the race. What do you say to those people who want you to drop out of the race?
WEINER: I'm sure many of my opponents would like me to drop out of the race.
REPORTER: When was the definitive moment for you? You said some things were true online, some things weren't true. Tell us what was not true?
WEINER: No, I think I've said in my statement, one of the things I'm not going to do and I said it to your newspaper, is I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth with people who are releasing things, whether they be true or not. People have a right to say whatever they want. I brought that upon myself.
I am prepared not to dispute anything that is out there, but suffice it to say, that people are out there saying things that are -- that are not true.
REPORTER: What else is out there?
WEINER: That's not the point. That's not the point.
I accept the responsibility for having these conversations with these people who I never met. With exchanging inappropriate things in the context of our marriage and that was a mistake and I bear responsibility for that. That is behind me.
And we're trying to move forward. We are recognizing it's not going to be easy. We knew it the moment we got into this race that it wasn't going to be easy. But I believe this is an important thing to be doing.
Thank you all very much.
REPORTER: Why should we trust your judgment? Why should we trust your judgment? Why?
(END OF LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE)
BLITZER: All right. So there you see an extraordinary moment in the political history, especially in New York City, where the Democratic candidate, some would argue the frontrunner to succeed Michael Bloomberg, as the next mayor of New York with his wife Huma Abedin, speaking about these latest revelations of sexting by Anthony Weiner.
Dana Bash is here, Gloria Borger is here.
Dana, he acknowledged that some of these new -- these revelations of sexting occurred after he resigned from Congress.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. He acknowledged it, his wife acknowledged it. I mean, there's so many things to dissect there. I think that the most important thing is wow. Not just that he acknowledged that but that this was the first time we heard his wife, Huma Abedin, speak at a press conference but also speak about these issues.
This wasn't just an issue of a scene of a wife standing by her political man. This was a wife coming up to the cameras, coming up to the microphones and talking, which was frankly extraordinary.
She is somebody who isn't just a wife. She is very politically savvy. Those of us who knew her in Washington know she knows exactly what she's doing. And maybe most importantly, she learned at the knee of Hillary Clinton, somebody who maybe most famously stood by her man politically. And so she's following in those footsteps.
That was really amazing and that was very telling, obviously carefully choreographed, for the voters of New York to see. She said it's personal, it's between me and my husband, and my family, and that is going to be the kind of thing that they are going to want New York voters to really pay attention to.
And if you're talking about voters all over the country, the most likely to kind of listen to that might be New York City voters.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, she made the point as the wife, I have forgiven him, she said. I believe in him. The point being that politically if I've forgiven him, you ought to forgive him.
The question New York voters now have to struggle with is this is a matter of judgment. He says that we in the media are essentially making the resignation sort of the key point in time because most of us would think OK, this occurred and then you better stop because it cost you your congressional seat.
They both made the point that actually to them, to their marriage, to their personal life that wasn't the key point in time, that this was something they had to continue working on, as he just admitted, for almost a year afterwards. But it is a question of judgment and will the voters buy this?
BLITZER: And I think he was aided by a powerful assist from his wife --
BLITZER: -- who showed up at that news conference.
BLITZER: And made that very emotional, important statement, as uncomfortable and as painful as it must have been for Huma Abedin.
All right. Stand by, we're going to continue to assess what's happened in New York. Much more coming up on the -- on the baby in London as well. The royal couple with the new baby, they emerged from the hospital. A lot of news happening today right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: As I've said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through many challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation in Congress.
While some of the 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 my wife Huma. And I am grateful that he has -- she has worked through these issues with me and I've had her forgiveness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: His wife Huma Abedin at his side. You just heard the Democratic candidate for the mayoral contest in New York City apologize once again. And Huma Abedin also spoke.
Dana Bash is with us. Gloria Borger is with us.
The timeline is important because he resigned from Congress. He went into therapy. And then what? As long as a year later he's now acknowledging he was still sexting as they call it?
BASH: That's exactly what he admitted and she admitted as well. That was the open question going into this press conference that, frankly, his campaign, since they wouldn't answer, it didn't -- it wasn't answered in the statement he put out earlier. But yes, he was doing it. He resigned two years ago. June of 2011. Making clear that he was going to repair his marriage. He went to rehab.
The thought was that if he was going to enter public life so soon after that -- two years is not a long time in political world -- that he really did spend the last two years kind of cleaning up his act and not engaging in the sexting and things that it was. But it turns out it was just last year, just last August or July that he was engaging in it.
And if you -- if you look -- he won't say what's true, won't say what's not true, but if you look at the Web site and look at the content of what it was, it was pretty explicit.
BORGER: And you know, Wolf, what he tried to do before he formally announced his candidacy was inoculate himself against this. He said in an interview, you're going to find out some other things. There have been other women. He didn't specify. He also didn't specify when these texts occurred. OK? And what we learned today was extraordinary because when he was working on getting his life back together, he was still having this issue.
And the question now, of course, is voters are going to say, wait a minute. We gave him a second chance. Were we dealt with squarely on this? I mean, his wife may have known. But the voters didn't know until this came out on the Web site today. So was he dealing with us squarely? Can we trust him? What kind of judgment does he have? He said today there's nothing different today than it was yesterday. But I don't know if the voters are going to believe that.
BLITZER: Well, listen to Huma Abedin, former top aide to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Listen to her defend her husband.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: Some of these things happened before my resignation. Some of them happened after, but the fact is that that was also the time that my wife and I were working through some things in our marriage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Unfortunately that was not the -- what Huma Abedin. We'll cue that correct sound bite up and we'll play it for our viewers. But you know, I guess the question some people will ask is if his wife is willing to forgive him for this, why shouldn't the people of New York City forgive him?
BASH: And that was Huma Abedin's entire point. She said, it was not an easy point. But I made it for me, for my son, and my family. And so she is trying to make this personal and doing it in the most exposed way that a wife -- a scorned wife, frankly -- can do. Especially a woman who has a child who is not even 2 years old.
She really put herself out there. But the point she's trying to make is that it is personal. But as Gloria said, the key unanswered question that we're going to see in the next couple of weeks is whether people say, OK, this is -- as they did with Bill Clinton, this is a personal issue or they're going to say, no, this is a judgment issue. And whether they believe when he said, quote, "This is entirely behind me."
BORGER: And I think the question voters will be asking is whether you want to give Anthony Weiner a position of power. He had a position of power in Congress, and he was sexting when he was in Congress. He was sexting when he had to resign from Congress. And is this the kind of person you want running your city? You're not married to him. If you're a voter, you're just a voter.
BASH: Right. And dare I say whether they care. Whether they care.
BLITZER: We'll soon find out. That election in New York City not that far away, as he pointed out.
All right. Stand by, ladies. We have a lot more to assess on this story. We're also watching what's going on in London. The royal couple, they leave the hospital with their new baby boy. Much more on that coming up as well.