A longtime adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blew up at Anthony Weiner after learning of new sexting incidents hours before the embattled New York mayoral candidate admitted to them in a news conference last month, according to news reports.
The adviser, Philippe Reines, learned for the first time that Weiner had engaged in more online liaisons after leaving Congress in a campaign conference call just before the July 23 news conference, The New York Times
reported on Friday.
"He was enraged and proceeded to berate Mr. Weiner, saying he would 'reach through this phone' and 'pull out' his throat, adding an expletive, according to a participant on the call," the Times reports.
Hours later, Weiner, 49, a Democrat, appeared at the hastily called news conference and admitted to exchanging racy photos and having sexually explicit chats with a woman he had met online. She was later identified as Sydney Elaine Leathers, 23, a liberal activist from Indiana.
Leathers told thedirty.com gossip website that she had met Weiner – whose handle was "Carlos Danger" – when she was 22.
By his side was his wife, Huma Abedin, who professed her love and support for Weiner.
"I love him. I have forgiven him," Abedin said at the news conference. "I believe in him. And, as we have said from the beginning, we are moving forward."
Reines, 43, who also is a personal spokesman for Clinton, and Abedin are longtime friends and colleagues, the Times reports. They have worked together since Clinton's White House days.
She is considered a "surrogate daughter" by both Bill and Hillary Clinton.
According to the Times, Abedin called Reines just before the news conference to seek his advice on whether to appear with Weiner.
"The two spoke for several minutes before Ms. Abedin ended the call and stepped before reporters to make her statement," the Times reports.
Reines then "called Mrs. Clinton to make sure she knew what was about to unfold," according to the Times.
He has since advised Abedin to take a less-visible role in Weiner's campaign, including not participating in her husband's newest campaign video, which was filmed at the couple’s Manhattan apartment, the Times reports.
"Mr. Reines and Ms. Abedin agreed that she should leave her home to avoid even appearing in the background of any scene in the video," according to the Times.
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