With his wife Huma Abedin standing beside him, Weiner brushed off the latest sexting revelations as he asked New Yorkers to give him a second "second chance."
"My wife...has given me a second chance. For the past several months I have also been asking New Yorkers to give them a second chance."
Sounding nonchalant, Weiner said we already knew all more sexts existed, and so "in many ways things are not that different to what I did yesterday."
"This behavior was destructive to say the least," he added, acknowledging a very mild version of the shame many people are convinced he should feel.
"I want to say again how very sorry I am to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages. My wife and I, as I have said, are moving forwards."
"I'm glad these things are behind us...but by no means does it change the fundamentals of my feelings," which are that he wants to bring his political gifts "to the people of New York."
Then to everyone's surprise, Weiner ceded the podium to "my amazing wife, Huma Abedin."
Looking visibly anxious, Abedin began, "you'll have to bear with me because I'm very nervous." She then read a prepared statement:
When we faced this two years ago, it was 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 decision but I made the decision...for me, for our son, and for our family.
Anthony has made some horrible mistakes, both before he resigned from Congress and after. But I do strongly believe that it is between our family...What I really want to say is that I love him, I have forgiven him, and I believe in him.
Pundits immediately expressed outrage at Weiner's use of his wife. Chris Matthews called it indecent and humiliating for Weiner to roll out his wife to defend him, and said he "didn't believe a word" of Weiner's apology.
Not everyone is convinced that Weiner's statements here are to be taken at face value. Huffington Post contributor Bob Cesca tweeted:
How many days before the press conference in which he admits that he lied in this press conference?- Bob Cesca (@bobcesca_go) July 23, 2013