A spokesman for Hillary Clinton has dismissed a comment from New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner suggesting that the former secretary of state has already decided to run for president in 2016.
"We have absolutely no clue what he was talking about," said spokesman Nick Merrill, according to Politico
. "Maybe his campaign does. Doubt it though."
The comment from the Clinton camp came in response to an interview Weiner gave to BuzzFeed.com
on Monday, in which he said he already knows what role his wife, Huma Abedin, will play in Clinton presidential campaign.
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"I do. I'm not going to tell you," the mayoral candidate and former congressman replied when asked what Abedin, a longtime Clinton aide, would be doing.
Up until now, Clinton, who ran for president in 2008, has been extremely guarded about what her intentions are concerning a possible second run for the White House in 2016, even though many of her friends and supporters are publicly pushing her in that direction. A political action committee has even been created by some of them to help with fundraising and grassroots efforts should she decide to enter the race.
But Weiner's comment led to speculation that she has already made that decision. It also created even more problems for his wife, who has been hit hard by new disclosures since Weiner announced his campaign for mayor that he continued online sexting with women even after he was forced to resign from Congress in 2011 over the issue.
Weiner sought Tuesday to dismiss his comment about Abedin's role in a possible Clinton campaign as a joke, according to CNN
"The question was, do I know what my wife is doing? And the answer is yes. It was a joke," he said following a debate with other mayoral candidates. "Have you ever heard sometimes people say you could guess but if I tell you I’d have to kill you. It was a joke. Everyone laughed. It was a joke."
Pressed on whether he knows if Clinton has actually decided to run for president again, Weiner said he has "no insight into campaign 2016. I'm struggling right here with 2013."
When asked by one reporter if he regretted causing Clinton any problems, Weiner replied, "You can report on whatever you want about this debate . . . and if you want to make it about the Clinton campaign [you can]. I was asked about the campaign and the plan of my wife and I made a lighthearted answer that everyone in the room laughed at apparently except you. For that I apologize. I’ll try to make the jokes better."
Abedin, who has publicly said that she continues to support her husband's mayoral bid, has not been seen campaigning with him in recent weeks and reportedly on an extended vacation.
Weiner said in the BuzzFeed interview, however, that Abedin is still "helping out every day," with his race. But he acknowledged that "what I have done has hurt her. Hurt her professionally, hurt her personally. She's gotten roughed up."
Weiner also denied a New York Times article
claiming another Clinton aide, Philippe Reines, is now playing a role in protecting Abedin and Clinton from any further fallout that might come from his continuing campaign for mayor.
Weiner resigned from Congress two years ago over a sexting scandal. But after he launched his political comeback in May, more young women accused him of contacting them online after he left Congress.
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