Huma Abedin

Huma Abedin Says She's Not Ruling Out Running For Political Office

The longtime Hillary Clinton aide left the door open for a possible run for political office in the first live interview of her career

huma abedin
TODAY

Huma Abedin has spent her entire political career as a supporting figure behind the scenes for powerful figures, but now she is not ruling out making a run for a political office herself.

In the first live TV interview of her career, Abedin left the door open to becoming a candidate for political office on TODAY Monday. 

"I am copying Shonda Rhimes, this is my year of saying yes," Abedin told Savannah Guthrie. "I'm not saying no to anything."

Abedin, 45, clarified that it's not definite that she will seek a political office. 

"Well, that was, 'I don't know,'" Abedin said. 

Abedin has often been defined in the public eye by those closest to her due to her work as a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton and her marriage to disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner. 

Through the media scrutiny and harsh spotlight, she has stayed mostly silent until now, as she is out with a new memoir, "Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds." 

"While I was silent, somebody else was telling my story," Abedin said. "And I decided that if I allowed that to happen, somebody else is writing my history, and so for me, it's an opportunity to talk about this incredible, privileged, extraordinary life," she said. 

"I had the highs, the challenges, and maybe out there there's there some women that it might help or some young brown girls or Muslim women."

Abedin began her career as a White House intern in 1996 before following Clinton to the Senate and State Department and serving as a top adviser during Clinton's 2016 presidential run. 

She found herself in the spotlight in 2011 when Weiner resigned from Congress after admitting to texting sexually explicit photos of himself to multiple women. She was asked why she stayed with him in the wake of the scandal. 

"Number one, I was in shock," she said. "The first time the scandal broke, I was carrying a child. I wasn't even 12 weeks pregnant. My baby became my primary focus. I was deeply in love with this man.

"I didn't understand the behavior, what was happening. And every sort of decision I made was a decision for that moment for periods of time. I was just trying to get through that day."

Abedin again stayed by Weiner's side as he attempted to run for New York City mayor in 2013 and defended him when it was revealed that he had continued sexting women. 

"I don't regret standing by him, and as I say in the book, I have an entire chapter explaining the 'why,'" she said. "I know there's been a lot of speculation of what is wrong with her and what is she thinking in that time, but I decided it was the right thing to do because I had encouraged him to run for mayor. 

"I was in shock. I went through a period of time saying 'I just I want my life back,' and we didn't just have any life, we had this most perfect life." 

However, the final straw came in 2016, when the couple separated after an indecent photo of Weiner surfaced that showed their sleeping toddler son in the background. Abedin writes in her book that Child Protective Services investigated her family in the wake of the photo and she feared losing her child. 

"It was a harrowing experience," she said. 

The upheaval in her personal life came just months before former FBI Director James Comey reopened a case into Clinton's emails just 10 days before the 2016 presidential election after some of the emails between Clinton and Abedin were found on Weiner's computer. 

Clinton said on TODAY in 2017 that she believed that FBI investigation into her emails, which was announced shortly before the election, contributed to her loss to President Donald Trump. 

"I felt I lived with a tremendous amount of guilt in the moment," Abedin said. "This unprecedented announcement 10 days before the election, breaking the norm of any previous FBI director. It was a shock to my system.

"I had reached out (to the FBI) to say, 'Can I be helpful?' I didn't understand why nobody tried to reach me so yes, I will carry that to my grave."

Abedin also alleges in the book that when she was a Clinton staffer in her 20s, a sitting U.S. senator forcibly tried to kiss her following a dinner event. 

She decided not to name the senator in the book, and she would not say if he is still currently a member of Congress. 

"I chose not to name the individual because this story is not about him," she said on TODAY. "This is about me. And in 2021, a woman should be able to talk about her trauma and her confusion, her experience, and it should be OK. Because I think what that story shows is that in the 2000s, that was not OK. You have to shut up and bury it and move on. And so I chose to tell my truth, and that is the truth."

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

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