Anthony Weiner says in a new interview with GQ that when he raised his middle finger at a reporter moments after conceding the New York City Democratic primary race, he was "just completely frayed at the edges."
Weiner tells the magazine in the story published Thursday that he "was really fried that night."
"It was such a taut moment, and the campaign was coming to an end, and I had tried not to lose my composure in what might be the last political speech of my life ... So I was just completely frayed at the edges. But I knew immediately it was a mistake."
Weiner, 49, who ran for mayor two years after quitting Congress amid a sexting scandal, saw his bid for City Hall collapse following new revelations that the online relationships had continued far beyond his resignation.
He wouldn't directly answer when GQ asked him whether he and his wife, Huma Abedin, would stay together.
"One thing I’m grateful for is that now I’m under no obligation to answer anything like this,” he said. “But we’ve had a very rough time. It causes me a great deal of pain in the way she gets reported and the way she gets discussed. Her treatment in the press has been rough. It pains me because I deserve it. She doesn’t."
He went on:
“I duck it as best I can,” he added, “but her reputation has become the Woman Who Married an Idiot and Stuck with Him. More of it rolls off my back, because that’s the way I am constitutionally. She’s more sensitive. I’m just an empty, soulless vessel, so it doesn’t hurt me as much.”