• Who is Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's chief of staff

    By: Debbie Lord , Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    Huma Abedin, considered by many to the be closest aide to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, issued a public statement Sunday that she would be separating from her husband, Anthony Weiner, following revelations that he had sent explicit photos of himself to a woman he said he had never met, but considered a friend.

    The photos, printed in the New York Post,  showed Weiner sitting on a bed, wearing only underwear and taking a photo of himself as his 4-year-old son slept nearby.

    The news pushed the otherwise behind-the-scenes Abedin into an unwelcomed spotlight as people debated why she had stayed with a man who had twice before been caught doing the same thing.

    Here's a few things we know about the woman many call Hillary Clinton's "other daughter."

    Her early life

    Huma Mahmood Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Mich. on July 28, 1976. Her mother is Pakistani and her father was Indian. Her family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when she was 2 years old. There, her father, an Islamic and Middle East scholar, founded an institute that was to foster understanding of religious practices and philosophies between the East and West. He died when Abedin was 17 years old.

    Her mother, a sociology professor, worked to create a private women’s college. It was one of the first in the country.

    How she met the Clintons

    She returned to the United States to attend college at George Washington University. It was from GWU that Abedin first met Bill and Hillary Clinton when she was awarded an internship at the White House in 1996. She wanted to be in the press room at the White House, but, instead, ended up assigned to then-first lady Hillary Clinton.

    Her career

    From 1996 to 2008, after her time in the White House, she was an assistant editor of the Journal Of Muslim Minority Affairs. She is a practicing Muslim.

    In 2000, she also worked with Hillary Clinton, signing on as her personal advisor and aide during her campaign for U.S. senator from New York. Clinton won the seat. In 2008, Abedin worked as “body woman” and traveling chief of staff for Clinton’s unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for president.

    In 2009, Abedin was appointed deputy chief of staff at the State Department when Clinton became secretary of state. She was allowed to work under an arrangement labeled “special government employee,” at the same time for a consulting firm called Teneo, and as a paid consultant to the Clinton Foundation. She worked from her home in New York City.

    She left the State Department in 2013 when Secretary Clinton did, but continued her work at the Clinton Foundation and also set up Zain Endeavors, her own private consulting firm.

    In 2015, Abedin became vice chairwoman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

    Her personal life

    In 2010, Abedin married Anthony Weiner, a U.S. Representative from New York, and  was included in Time magazine's "40 under 40" list of a "new generation of civic leaders" and "rising stars of American politics.”

    In 2011, she gave birth to the couple’s son, Jordan.

    Her husband’s troubles

    Anthony Weiner was a New York City Councilmember before being elected to Congress in 1998. He was reelected to his seat, and,  in time, earned a reputation for having a temper and being hard on his staff. 

    In May, 2011, Weiner posted a link to a sexually explicit photograph of himself using his public Twitter account, thinking he was sending it as a direct message to a woman. Instead, he posted it on the social media outlet. He denied he had sent the post for several days, saying his account had been hacked, before admitting it and resigning from the Congress the next month.

    A second sexting scandal for Weiner became public when he ran for mayor of New York City in 2013. Using the alias “Carlos Danger,” it was discovered that Weiner had sent explicit photos of himself to a woman named Sydney Leathers.

    A third sexting incident was reported on Aug. 27, 2013 when the New York Post published a photo Weiner allegedly sent  to another woman of himself in briefs sitting on a bed with his 4-year-old son asleep next to him.

    Abedin made a public announcement that day, saying she was separating from her husband.  "After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”

    Abedin under fire

    Of late, Abedin has had issues connected to her work with Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. In June of  2012, five Republican members of Congress charged in a letter that Abedin "has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations." The letter, signed by Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Thomas J. Rooney of Florida, and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, was discounted by many in Congress and by media outlets.

    Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization, requested Abedin’s emails and employment records in 2015. In October of 2015, the State Department said it would be able to hand over 69 pages of emails in response to the Freedom of Information Act request made by Judicial Watch. Those emails became part of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government business.

    Abedin also testified that month before the House Select Committee on Benghazi – a committee investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.

    In February of 2016, the State Department issued a subpoena to the Clinton Foundation for records relating to Abedin’s work there. 

     

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