In 2013, when Weiner was running for New York City mayor, a woman went public with the “inappropriate exchanges” they had shared. To the chagrin of her mother and Clinton, Abedin agreed to speak on his behalf before the press. “We were all so far down into the minute details of my personal life, I no longer knew what belonged to me and what did not,” she writes. Abedin reached her breaking point six weeks later, when Weiner repeatedly requested her company at a less-than-celebratory election night party where the woman who had leaked the chats promised to appear.
She writes, “I had given up trying to understand or decode Anthony’s mental health.” Abedin expected Clinton to request her resignation; instead, Clinton said that “she did not believe I should pay a professional price for what was ultimately my husband’s mistake, not mine.”
Abedin hit her limit when their child appeared in one of Weiner’s sexts.
“I wish I could take back the image that appeared but I can never erase it,” Abedin writes of a picture that surfaced in August 2016. “There was Jordan, sleeping peacefully next to an indecent Anthony, an image shared with a stranger, or a ‘friend’ in Anthony’s view.” She continues, “This crossed into another level of degradation, a violation of the innocence of our child. There were no more ‘what were you thinking?’ questions left in me. It was over.”
Children’s Services interviewed Abedin’s son and told her that she had been named “in a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment.” The investigation continued for months, as new allegations surfaced against Weiner (this time involving a teenage girl, “a new nadir”); as Abedin learned that Weiner had been diagnosed with sex addiction; through his stint in a residential treatment program (price tag: $127,000); the seizure of his laptop; and finally the 2016 presidential election.
In January 2017, Abedin received a lengthy report concluding that she was capable of caring for her son. “HRC had lost the election,” she writes. “My consolation prize was that I would be allowed to keep my child.”
For a time, she blamed herself for Clinton’s defeat. Now she blames Comey.
Abedin and Weiner separated in 2016 and later divorced. She was haunted by her husband’s actions, the F.B.I. investigation and how they may have contributed to Donald Trump’s victory. “For a long time, Comey was a daily nightmare for me, and even now the thought of what he did sometimes creeps in to torture me,” Abedin writes. “But I have slowly come to accept that I am not the sole cause of the 2016 election loss.”
She holds Comey, the F.B.I. director, responsible. “One man’s decision to play God forever changed the course of history,” she writes. “It should not be my burden to carry the rest of my life. It should be his.”