NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The chief spokeswoman for embattled mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner went on an expletive-laced tirade about a former campaign intern in an interview with a political news website.
Barbara Morgan later apologized for using vulgar language to describe former intern Olivia Nuzzi. She said she believed her interview with Talking Points Memo was off the record.
Talking Points said it contacted Morgan on Tuesday for an unrelated story when she launched into her attack on Nuzzi for writing an unflattering first-person article for the Daily News about her experience working on Weiner’s campaign.
In the Tuesday cover story, Nuzzi wrote that Weiner often called interns “Monica,” a reference to former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and that many people worked on the campaign only to get close to Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin. Abedin is an ex-aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Nuzzi also said many of the campaign staff had “short resumes,” including Morgan, noting that the communications director “last worked as the press secretary for the New Jersey state education commissioner.”
Morgan said Nuzzi was bad at her job and threatened to sue her.
“She was clearly there because she wanted to be seen. — she would just not show up for work,” Morgan said, adding that she tried to fire Nuzzi but “gave her a second chance” when Nuzzi begged to come back.
Nuzzi stopped interning for the campaign about four weeks ago, Morgan said.
Later, she issued an apology.
“In a moment of frustration, I used inappropriate language in what I thought was an off the record conversation. It was wrong and I am very sorry, which is what I said tonight when I called and emailed Olivia to apologize,” she said.
Nuzzi, a college student and writer, declined to comment on Morgan’s tirade.
Meanwhile, Weiner has kept up his campaign schedule and defiant tone in the wake of his latest sexting scandal, telling New York City voters he’s not going anywhere.
In the face of yet another skeptical crowd Tuesday night in the Bronx, Weiner refused to give in.
“I violated the trust of my wife, I did that,” he said after being asked about the scandal. “That was wrong and people have every right in the world to say that it disqualifies me, but I’m not going to quit based on that.”
Weiner said having “cameras in your face” and being told to change your mind and quit comes with the job of being mayor, but said “that’s not the kind of mayor I’m going to be.”
“If you don’t want to vote for me, do not vote for me but don’t deny these people the right to vote for me if they want to,” he said.
Last week, Weiner acknowledged exchanging sexually explicit messages online after similar behavior spurred his resignation from Congress in 2011.
He released a new campaign video Tuesday evening saying he won’t quit the race, despite pressure from politicians and newspaper editors.
“Sometimes people say to me, ‘You know, this campaign is pretty rough. You may want to quit.’ I know that there are newspaper editors and other politicians that say, ‘Boy, I wish that guy Weiner would quit,’” he said in the clip. “They don’t know New York. They certainly don’t know me. ‘Quit’ isn’t the way we roll in New York City. We fight through tough things. We’re a tough city.”
A new poll released Monday found Weiner’s support fell from 26 percent last week to 16 percent.
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