Huma Abedin
New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York, July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's top aide, announced on Monday (29 August) that she was separating from her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner, following a new sexting scandal. Abedin and Weiner faced a similar scandal in 2011, when Weiner accidentally posted an explicit photo of himself on Twitter.

"After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband," Abedin said in a statement, according to Reuters. "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's decision to separate from her husband comes on the heels of a report by the New York Post that alleged that Weiner had sent lurid photos of his genitals, including one where his young son was included.

According to the Post, the former member of Congress sent the photo as he discussed massage parlours "near my old apartment" around 3am EST/8am BST on 31 July, 2015.

It also seems that Wiener's female friend is not only a proud supporter of Republican nominee Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association, but has used Twitter to criticise President Obama and the Democratic nominee. The woman told The Post that the conversations, many of them sexual in nature, began in late January 2015 and continued up to earlier on this month (August 2016).

In June 2011, Weiner was forced to resign from Congress, where he represented a New York City district, following a similar sexting scandal. Two years later, in July 2013, as he made a second unsuccessful bid for New York City mayor, explicit photos of Weiner emerged under the pseudonym "Carlos Danger," Reuters reported.

He later told the media he had undergone therapy following the first sexting scandal. According Reuters, following his failed mayoral run, Weiner was a stay-at-home father to their 4-year-old son.

CNN reported that the split had been on the horizon for some time, but Abedin was reluctant to leave. "She did not want this to be another distraction for Hillary," a friend said. Her faith was another reason why she was reluctant to leave the relationship.

Trump weighed in on Abedin's decision in a statement, where he also commented on the possibility that Weiner could have compromised classified information. "Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well, and she will be far better off without him," Trump said.

"I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information," he added. "Who knows what he learned and who he told? It's just another example of Hillary Clinton's bad judgement."