Rep. Anthony Weiner on Monday acknowledged he has sent numerous sexually explicit emails, photographs and tweets to at least six women over the past three years.
At a news conference in the New York City borough of Manhattan, the New York Democrat said that for the past nine days he had lied about posting a picture of himself in his underwear on Twitter late last month – but said he was not leaving Congress.
“I deeply regret what I have done, and I am not resigning,” Weiner said.
All last week, Weiner had insisted that the picture had been posted to Twitter by hackers and had said he was being pranked by political opponents looking to knock Democrats off message.
But on Monday, Weiner took responsibility for posting the picture.
“I tweeted a photograph I had intended to send as a direct message as a joke to a woman in Seattle,” he said, adding that he had “several inappropriate conversations” with six women via text message, Twitter, email, Facebook and in some cases on the phone. Weiner acknowledged sending pictures to some of the women.
Although he said most of the incidents occurred before he was married, “some sadly took place after,” and he insisted that “I have never met any of these women or had physical relationships at any time.”
Weiner said he spoke with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) before addressing the media.
He said he and his wife, Huma Abedin, who works for the State Department, intend to stay together. Weiner and Abedin married on July 10, 2010.
He repeatedly apologized to Abedin and his constituents.
During the half-hour news conference, Weiner stood alone at the hotel conference room lectern and said he was stupid but did not break any laws.
“I don’t believe I did anything here that violates any law or violates any oath to constituents,” he said.
“I’ve never had sex outside my marriage. ... I don’t do drugs. I was not drinking — that was not the cause of this. This is me doing a dumb thing, doing it repeatedly and then lying about it,” he added.
Asked about his political future, Weiner said the last thing he’s thinking about is “next year’s election or the election after that.”
“I’m going to work very hard to win back [voters’] trust,” he said. “Nothing about this should reflect in any way on my official duties or my oath of office.”
Steve Peoples contributed to this report.
Correction: June 6, 2011
The article misstated where Rep. Anthony Weiner’s news conference was held. It was in Manhattan in New York City.