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Huma Abedin, right, glances at her husband, New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner as he speaks at a press conference at the Gay Men's Health Crisis, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in New York. The former congressman says he's not dropping out of the New York City mayoral race in light of newly revealed explicit online correspondence with a young woman.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Not this time.
THE LAST STRAW

Hillary Clinton’s top personal aide is finally separating from her scandal-ridden husband

By Tim Fernholz

Huma Abedin, a longtime member of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle, is leaving her scandal-ridden husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, after another lewd photo was leaked to the press, this one including the couple’s four-year-old child.

Weiner resigned as a New York member of Congress in 2011 when his online relationships with several women, including exchanges of sexually explicit pictures, became public. In 2013, his attempted political comeback in a run for mayor of New York City came crashing down after news broke that he had continued his illicit online relationships, laying the groundwork for an amazing political documentary filmed during the campaign.

Asked in July if his online problems were over, Weiner told the New York Daily News, ”Oh yeah, all that stuff is behind me. You can quibble about, you know, beginnings, middles and ends, but it was basically a year ago.”

Abedin had previously chosen to stand by her husband despite reported pressure from her boss to distance herself from him. The documentary film, released in 2016, showed Abedin skipping a campaign event on the advice of one of Clinton’s top aides, but she remained committed to the marriage.

But the latest leaked photo published in the New York Post—which shows Weiner lying provocatively in bed in boxer-briefs, with his young son next to him, in July 2015—is apparently the last straw.

“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 sent to reporters this morning. “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.”

Abedin herself has been at the center of recent stories of how she handled conflicts of interest as a top aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Abedin received an ethics waiver to work simultaneously for the Clinton Foundation, a consulting firm, and the government in 2012. Recent e-mails released in a lawsuit filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch show Abedin receiving requests for favors from foundation donors, though there is no clear proof of corruption.

In a statement, Republican nominee Donald Trump tried to make Abedin’s decision into a campaign issue. He said that Abedin’s work for Clinton while married to Weiner, who has no role in the campaign, was “another example of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment.” But Trump’s latest hire as campaign manager, Stephen Bannon, has been criticized for making anti-semitic remarks, allegations of domestic violence, and illegally registering to vote in a state where he doesn’t live.

The Clinton campaign did not comment on Abedin and Weiner’s relationship.

Tim Fernholz
Reporter
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