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updated 6/15/2013 12:45:37 PM ET 2013-06-15T16:45:37

Anthony Weiner tries another explanation for his controversial 1991 campaign mailer.

This week, New York City mayoral candidate and former Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner offered a new explanation for his controversial 1991 campaign mailer, unearthed by Up With Steve Kornackiearlier this month.

Weiner won his 1991 New York City Council race shortly after violent, racially-charged riots broke out in a neighboring Brooklyn district. It was only after his victory that Weiner fessed up to being behind anonymous mailers sent out to voters in his mostly white district, accusing his opponents—Adele Cohen and Mike Garson—of being linked to the “DAVID DINKINS/JESSE JACKSON COALITION” and their “agenda.”

Weiner did apologize to Cohen, and has since said he regretted the political move, but the issue was raised once again during a candidates’ forum in Staten Island on Monday, Capital New York reports.

“Back in 1991, he was a long-shot candidate in a Jewish district in Brooklyn and he ran a race-baiting campaign that the Times attacked, because he won,” said Weiner’s opponent, Green Party mayoral candidate Tony Gronowicz. “He ran against Adele Cohen, an honorable woman, and said she was a functionary of [Rev. Jesse] Jackson and [ New York City mayor David] Dinkins.”

Reporters Azi Paybarah of Capital New York and Jennifer Fermino of the New York Daily News caught up with Weiner after the event, in which he said the mailer “pointed out some things that were true.”

When asked what was true, Weiner said, “It was just quoting from The New York Times.”

MSNBC host Steve Kornacki on Saturday called Weiner’s characterization “grossly misleading.”

“The flyer went out of its way to connect Cohn to two black political leaders—Dinkins and Jackson—but she had never even met Jesse Jackson,” Kornacki said. “He could have connected any number of political figures to it, but he chose to single out two major black political figures. In the wake of a race riot.”

Video: Anthony Weiner’s latest apology

  1. Closed captioning of: Anthony Weiner’s latest apology

    >>> i want to apologize up front. we have been on the air for two months and this is the third time i talked about anthony weiner and what he did in in one primary for one city's mayor's office. but we're also as a national figure and the story from 1991 is the story that involves an unusual ugly, divisive and devious calculation and i don't think he's ever really reckoned with it. i say this because of what happened when he was publicly confronted about the ins debit. in '91 it's about the first run for office in new york . waez the underdog in a deadly race riot had just broken out in the crown heights section of brooklyn. weiner sent out a flyer anonymously that linked his opponent to david deny kinz and jesse jackson and their quote agenda. i told the story a month ago and weiner has been asked about it a few times. he usually says he regrets it and says he apologizes. but he usually doesn't stop there and ends up sounding like he isn't apologizing at all. that's what happened this week. two reporters asked him about it.

    >> that '91 flyer, it was brought up by msnbc, brought up tonight, it was brought up as recently as 2009 . i'm wondering if you think there's anything you need to say to voters or to anyone else to address that.

    >> i apologized at the time. i mean, it was a flyer that pointed out some things that were true, but i said at the time i think immediately like that week, i sent out a note and i've seen her several times since then.

    >> first he said he apologized to his opponent at the time. but there's a catch. we showed you the handwritten apology note that weiner had sent to cohen, one written after the votes were cast. in it he promised to reach out and apologize in person. but when we contacted her, she said the meeting never took place. there's something more important in what weiner said there. the line he put in there that the flyer had pointed out things that were true. one of the reporters who was there caught it and followed up.

    >> what was it that was true?

    >> reporting for the "new york times." you've seen it. the flyer is available.

    >> no, no, no. what were you saying was true in it, like you still support from the flyer? you said, i pointed out some things that were true.

    >> yeah with. that she hadn't supported this coalition. i just quoted the flyer on the "new york times." i think it was on his web site .

    >> weiner is saying the flyer was true, all he had done was print ared what the new york times reported. that's grossly misleading. the flyer went out of its way to connect cohen to two black political leaders that she had never even met jackson. the coalition weiner is referring to is a mishmash of liberal groups in new york . he could have connected any number of political figures to it, but he chose to single out two play juror blacking political figures in the wake of a race riot . here's how the exchange with reporters ended this week.

    >> would you send it again, that kind of flyer 0?

    >> no. i aregret it and i apologize for it.

    >> if all he was doing was pointing out things that were true from a "new york times" story, what does weiner have to be story about? yes, the flyer is two decades old. when he's asked about it, he says he regrets it and apologized for it. but then he keeps talking about it and it sounds like the only thing he's sorry about is getting caught. i don't think there's a statute of limitations on holding a public figure accountable, especially if that politician gives the zingts impression that his apology is obligatory and he doesn't mean it, which is the exact impression anthony weiner reinforced this week. i want to find out what my guests know now they didn't know when the week began.

    >> hillary clinton is on twitter. i think that is my big news for the week. i think her sense of humor is often underrated so i think everyone should follow hillary on twitter and also my dad, sam cox one word, his sense of humor is also very underrated.

    >> going from anthony weiner to twitter. perfect segue.

    >> i'm going to segue from her father to father's day. you know, often in the media we get so bombarded but so many negative message s particularly about men of color being the proponents of violence in our neighborhood. this weekend i hope and at least i'm go 'doing and celebrating those men of color who are not only standing up in their community against violence, there was just a press conference here in new york where men came together for father's day in saying it's enough in terms of violence in their neighborhood. but to shout out all of those men of color who are doing what they're supposed to do in their communities and going above and beyond and i just wanted to say we love you because we often don't get that from the media.

    >> charmaine?

    >> can we have a theme here of father's day? i just want to make the point that father's day is one of the biggest pro-life celebrations out there because it comes down to, as you talk about prevention, one of the most important things for the pro-life movement moving forward is this partnership between men and women of raising children to be healthy and happy. so a shout-out to my great dad. i got the call to come on here and walked out the door on a train because of the dad of my kids, my husband.

    >> we appreciate that you were able to jump on that train.

    >> i'm going to take a little different tack, but i agree with celebrating father's day. and that is we saw the independent women 's forum attack obama care this week and say that obama care is going to lead to 88% increase in premiums in ohio. obama care is going to be the number one negative issue in the 2014 elections. i think the republicans and the conservatives have their women's strategy. i think it's a real challenge to our side. we need our women's strategy. 80% of the decision makers on health care are women. it's though moms telling their sons and husbands, get on health care that will make the difference in obama care.

    >> thanks to all of my guests. thanks for getting up and thank you for xwoing us on "up." join us tomorrow sunday morning at 8:00 when 0 i'll have journalist and author rick pearlstei pearlstein. we'll see you tomorrow at 8:00. thanks for getting "up."

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