A defiant Anthony Weiner hit the airwaves for another round of TV interviews this evening, as he tries desperately to shift the conversation away from his latest sexting scandal and toward policy issues with just six weeks left to the primary.
Again and again, Mr. Weiner insisted he’d come completely clean about the details of his “embarrassing” personal conduct and urged the interviewers to move on. The facts, he repeated, remained the same.
However, the facts seem to keep changing. During an interview on NBC 4 airing later this evening, Mr. Weiner was asked yet again when he finally stopped sending lewd messages to women that he didn’t know.
“At this period, a year ago or so,” he said. “I don’t have any of the records. I deleted everything … It was something I put behind. It was something I put behind me gladly after a while.”
“I’m not disputing what other people are putting out,” he added. “But it wasn’t November. I think it was August or maybe early September.”
That’s a slight change from last Wednesday, when Mr. Weiner said he’d quit the habit sooner. “Last summer,” he said then. “Yeah, roughly August. Maybe even a little earlier than that.”
The day before, at a press conference, he said he couldn’t “say exactly” when he sent his last explicit message, but that it was “likely some time last summer”–after the 2012 People magazine redemption profile, in which his wife was quoted saying, “It took a lot of work to get to where we are today.” And it was certainly after his 2011 resignation from Congress, when he swore he’d never commit such an act again.
Later, during an interview on RNN-TV with Dominic Carter, Mr. Weiner’s answer seemed to slipped again.
“A year or so,” he told the host when asked the timeline question. “I erased them all. But this last person that came out said the end of August. That sounds about right to me. That’s the memory my wife has also.”
Later, when Mr. Carter mentioned the “year ago” timeline, Mr. Weiner jumped in to clarify his answer. “I mean, I don’t have any of the records any more. The first thing you do when you recover from something like this is purge it from your life. My memory jives with, you know, the end of August.” But, he added, “You know, there might have been emails that went back-and-forth. But nothing untoward, nothing inappropriate, no pictures. I don’t think anything past the end of August, early September.”
Still, Mr. Weiner insisted today that nothing had changed and that he could say with “100 percent” confidence that none of the behavior extended into 2013.
“The basic facts have not changed since we sat down in April,” he said on NBC 4. “The basic facts haven’t changed very much at all for some time. I did these things. More than one person. They’re terribly embarrassing. They were wrong to do. And now I am caught up in, to some degree, in the politics of personal embarrassment.”
Updated at 6:40 p.m.