Anthony Weiner's emotional mea culpa: Will it be enough?

In a tearful press conference Monday, the New York Democrat admits that he lied about sending an underwear photo on Twitter, and cops to a number of other online infidelities

Rep. Anthony Weiner
(Image credit: Screen shot,

The video: Finally, the truth comes out. In an emotional press conference Monday, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) admitted to online relationships with six women over the last three years. (See the video below.) Though Weiner has been hounded by reporters for more than a week over a crotch shot of a man's bulging underwear sent from his Twitter account to a Seattle coed, he's repeatedly insisted a hacker was responsible. But on Monday, more inappropriate photos and damning claims surfaced, and Weiner came clean. "I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people that I cared about the most, and I am terribly sorry," he said. A "visibly shaken and tearful" Weiner refused to resign, however, saying that he didn't break any laws or congressional rules. Weiner said he never met any of the women in question (the closest he got was talking on the phone), and that he and his wife, Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will stay together. In a "bizarre" twist before Weiner even took the stage, conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart, whose Big Government website has driven the Weiner expose, grabbed the mic, berated Weiner, and claimed that he still has an as-yet-unpublished "X-rated" image of the congressman.

The reaction: "Clearly the lying congressman hopes to continue his political career," says Thomas Lifson at American Thinker. But Weiner, a well-known berater of Republicans, can’t possibly keep serving as the Democrats' "attack dog." Hold on, says David Dayen at Firedoglake. It sounds like Weiner is a sexting enthusiast who operated from "some basement computer in his house." I'm not sure he has to resign over that. Agreed, says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. "On the Political Sex Scandal Richter Scale," this barely registers. "He didn’t commit adultery (Ensign), he didn’t hire prostitutes (Vitter), he didn’t solicit anyone in an airport bathroom (Craig), he didn’t pretend to be someone else in order to try to pick up women (Lee), he didn’t abandon his office for a rendezvous with his lover (Sanford), he didn’t leave his first two wives after they got sick (Gingrich), and he didn’t have a child with his housekeeper (Schwarzenegger)." Watch Weiner's mea culpa:

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us