Former New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin, his wife and a key adviser to Hillary Clinton, have decided to separate in the wake of Weiner's latest sexting scandal. But apparently the couple was not exactly working all that hard to make things work behind the scenes.
On the surface, Abedin had appeared to stand by her husband's side while sexting scandals with random women derailed his career as a congressman in 2011 and as a New York mayoral candidate in 2013. However, according to Politico political correspondent Glenn Thrush, the preservation of their marriage had been mostly for show.
A source Thrush described as a close friend of Abedin told him that Abedin had been "estranged, essentially separated" from Weiner for over a year despite sharing an apartment. They say her husband's most recent sexting scandal, particularly a lewd picture of Weiner sent while laying in bed next to his sleeping son, were important motivators in her decision to finally separate publicly from her controversy-courting husband and that her trip to the Hamptons this week was a coincidentally planned vacation, not an attempt to flee press attention.
"After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband," Abedin said in a statement Monday. "Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy."
The New York Post reported late Sunday that Weiner had exchanged sexual messages with an unidentified woman in 2015. Those messages included a picture featuring Weiner in his underwear next to his sleeping son.
Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011 after an initial sexting scandal. He publicly apologized and promised to change his behavior, but in 2013 he was caught exchanging provocative messages online with at least three more women under the pseudonym Carlos Danger. Weiner's mayoral campaign, which was derailed by the 2013 scandal, is the subject of the recently released documentary "Weiner."
The latest revelations into Weiner's behind-the-scenes behavior has triggered renewed criticism of the disgraced politician. Even GOP presidential Donald Trump has weighed in, noting Abedin's role advising Clinton.
“Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well, and she will be far better off without him," Trump said in a statement, managing to turn the scandal into an attack on his opponent in the presidential race. "I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told? It’s just another example of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment. It is possible that our country and its security have been greatly compromised by this."