Former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) bid to become New York City’s Mayor was backtracking after another incident on Tuesday, after his press secretary went off on an expeletive-filled rant against former intern Olivia Nuzzi for penning two unflattering accounts of her experience on the campaign.
“F*cking sl*tbag. Nice f*cking glamour shot on the cover of the Daily News,” Weiner’s communication director, Barbara Morgan, told Talking Points Memo on Tuesday. “Man, see if you ever get a job in this town again.”
WNBC-TV reported that Morgan issued a public apology for her statements, adding that she had also contacted Nuzzi by phone and email to apologize.
“In a moment of frustration, I used inappropriate language in what I thought was an off the record conversation,” Morgan said to WNBC.
Nuzzi first published a story regarding Weiner’s campaign in a July 28 piece for NSFWCorp, in which she wrote that his former campaign manager, Danny Kedem, resigned because the former congressman had lied to him regarding the “timing of his sexting scandal.” Nuzzi also reported that five other staff members had left the campaign, with one anonymous former staff member saying Weiner had underpaid him. Nuzzi is identified in the story as having worked for the campaign for four weeks.
“It’s all bullsh*t,” Morgan told TPM on Tuesday. “I mean, it’s such bullsh*t. She could f*cking — f*cking tw*t.”
In a July 30 column for the New York Daily News, Nuzzi wrote that other interns told her they had joined Weiner’s team in hopes of becoming close to his wife, Huma Abedin, thus potentially having a chance to be noticed by Abedin’s former employer, former Secretary of State and potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and also alluded to Morgan’s former job as “the press secretary for the New Jersey state education commissioner” in describing the “short resumes” among Weiner’s staff.
Nuzzi also described an instance in which Weiner failed to live up to his boast of being able to remember each of his 20 interns’ names at will.
“Monica,” he said. No, it was Stephanie.
Then he called me “Monica.” Wrong again.
He got the next three interns’ names wrong, and then called the whole thing off.
Last week, I am told, some people on the staff were wondering why he hadn’t called the campaign off.
I left after a month to begin taking summer classes.
On Tuesday, Morgan suggested to TPM that Nuzzi took the job in the first place to be able to write her stories, saying Nuzzi begged her for the position and said she wanted to be Morgan’s “b*tch.”
“She was clearly there because she wanted to be seen,” Morgan told TPM. “Like it was, like, terrible and I had to like – she would like, she would just not show up for work. For the four weeks she worked there — she didn’t work weekends, so twenty days total. Of those 20 days, she missed probably five because she would just like not show up and not tell me she wasn’t going to be there. So, yeah, so there’s that.”
Update, 11:24 a.m.: Women’s advocacy group UltraViolet released a statement on Wednesday criticizing Morgan’s comments and calling for Weiner to dismiss her from his campaign.
“The circus that is the Weiner campaign has crossed the final line: Sexist name-calling and slut shaming is outrageous, unacceptable, and has no place in any campaign,” UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary said in the statement. “Barbara Morgan should be fired immediately. Adding fuel to the flames, the disturbing revelations that Anthony Weiner thinks it’s somehow hilarious to refer to female interns as ‘Monica’ leads us to believe that his days in therapy are far from over. New York can do better than this, and quite frankly women everywhere deserve better than this.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]