Who Is Huma Abedin? A Look at Hillary Clinton's Longtime Aide
Abedin announced her split from husband Anthony Weiner this week.
By ADAM KELSEY
August 30, 2016, 4:33 PM
• 5 min read
-- Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is in the headlines after the announcement of her separation from her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, this week. Abedin, a longtime adviser to Clinton, has known the Democratic presidential nominee since her days in the White House as first lady in the 1990s.
Here’s a look at Abedin and her rise to prominence behind the scenes with Clinton.
Abedin was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and spent most of her childhood in Saudi Arabia after moving there with her parents — both academics and educators — and three siblings at the age of 2. She later returned to the United States to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
From Intern to Adviser
While at GW, Abedin was selected for a White House internship, working for Clinton. After graduating, Abedin remained with Clinton as an aide during her tenure in the Senate, serving as an adviser on Middle East policy and developing a reputation as a workaholic.
2008 Campaign and the State Department
Throughout Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008, Abedin rarely left the candidate’s side as her role transitioned to that of body woman and traveling chief of staff. After Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state, Abedin was named deputy chief of staff and also took on consulting work for outside companies and the Clinton Foundation.
The arrangement that allowed Abedin to work privately and for the State Department simultaneously came under scrutiny after it was disclosed by The New York Times in 2013.
Relationship With Anthony Weiner
Abedin first met Weiner, then a representative from the New York City borough of Queens, in 2001 at a Democratic National Committee function. After she initially brushed aside Weiner’s romantic interest, the two became close as they crossed paths throughout the 2000s, and they began to date in 2008. Weiner proposed a year later, and the two were married in 2010 at a ceremony officiated by Bill Clinton. At the wedding, Hillary Clinton spoke about Abedin, saying, “I have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would be Huma.”
In 2011, after the sexting scandal that led to Weiner’s resignation from Congress, Abedin stood by her husband and gave birth to their son just a few months afterward. She publicly supported Weiner as additional messages to women emerged during his New York City mayoral run in 2013 — a period captured by the documentary “Weiner,” released this year.
Abedin returned to Clinton’s staff in 2015 as the vice chairwoman of her latest campaign for president. Abedin penned an email to supporters in December, calling herself a “proud Muslim” and criticizing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposed plan to bar foreign Muslims from entering the U.S.
Her email correspondence with Clinton was noted as part of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state. Abedin’s prior concurrent work for the State Department and Clinton Foundation has become a point of contention for Trump in recent weeks as he has levied accusations of pay for play. The Clintons have denied his accusations.