Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., admitted Monday in a stunning press conference that he sent a lewd photo to a woman over Twitter, after claiming for days that he was hacked. Saying he is "deeply ashamed," he also said he's had explicit exchanges with six women over the last three years, some of which occurred after he got married in 2010.
But the seven-term congressman said he would not resign, expressing hope that he could win back the trust of his constituents.
"This was me doing a dumb thing and doing it repeatedly and then lying about it," Weiner said. "And that's all there is."
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, with whom Weiner said he consulted before speaking to reporters Monday, announced after Weiner's news conference that she is calling for an ethics investigation "to determine whether any official resources were used or any other violation of House rules."
"I am deeply disappointed and saddened about this situation, for Anthony's wife, Huma, his family, his staff and his constituents," Pelosi said in a written statement.
Weiner got choked up several times as he delivered his remarks and afterward took questions from the media, particularly as he discussed his wife -- Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said he has apologized to her and, though she was not present at the press conference, said they have "no intention of splitting up." He said she was "not happy" about his actions.
After a week of denials, Weiner opened up the press conference by saying he takes "full responsibility" for his actions. "I have made terrible mistakes that have hurt the people I care about the most and I'm deeply sorry," Weiner said, as he proceeded to detail a host of indiscretions for nearly a half-hour.
The controversy erupted last week after a photo of somebody's bulging underwear was sent from his Twitter account to a Seattle college student. Weiner, who was frequently combative with reporters last week as they inquired about the image, repeatedly maintained he was hacked, though he wouldn't confirm whether the photo was an image of him.
Taking the podium on Monday, Weiner spoke far more bluntly.
"The picture was of me and I sent it," he said, adding that he intended to send it via a private message as a "joke."
Trying to explain his mindset, Weiner said he "panicked" after realizing he posted the photo to his account. He said he was "embarrassed" and "humiliated" and was trying to protect himself and his wife, so he made up a story about being hacked. Weiner said he has "not been honest" with himself.
"This was a mistake and I'm very sorry for it," he said.