NEW YORK -- New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner said Tuesday that comments he made a day earlier about his wife Huma Abedin's role with Hillary Clinton's expected presidential run in 2016 were "a joke."
Buzzfeed's Ben Smith asked Weiner in an interview on Monday if he knows about Abedin's plans with Clinton in 2016. Abedin was a close aide to Clinton at the State Department. "I do," Weiner replied in the barroom interview. "But I'm not telling you."
That interaction was interpreted by some as a sign that Clinton was indeed mounting a presidential campaign and prompted a Clinton spokesman to deny knowledge of what Weiner was talking about.
Weiner, a Democrat running a faltering campaign for New York City mayor, was asked about the remarks after a debate on Tuesday night.
"If you read the transcript, the question was, 'Do you know what my wife is doing?' The answer is yes. It is a joke," Weiner said following the debate with Democratic mayoral candidates on TV station WABC. "Everyone laughed."
When pressed for more details, Weiner didn't budge and claimed not to know what the future held.
"I have no insight into campaign 2016," Weiner said. "I'm struggling right here in 2013."
Weiner quickly lost patience with the questions.
"I was asked a question about the plan of my wife and I made a lighthearted answer that everyone in the room laughed at -- apparently except you. For that I apologize. I'll make the jokes more obvious."