The Reverend Al Sharpton downplayed his role as an FBI informant who went undercover to target key mafia figures, reports The New York Daily News.
Speaking form his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, Al Sharpton was addressing a story published by The Smoking Gun which explores his past and present while highlighting his alleged clandestine work with the FBI.
“I was not and am not a rat because I wasn’t with the rats,” said Sharpton. “I’m a cat. I chase rats.”
Sharpton says he only went to the feds because mobsters were threatening his life, so he never considered himself an informant. The government, meanwhile, gave him the code name Confidential Informant 7, or CI-7 for short.
“I don’t know if I’m C-7 or B-19. I don’t know none of that,” said Sharpton. “I know I was threatened. I did what anybody would do…other than a thug. And I cooperated.”
The Smoking Gun story, titled, Al Sharpton’s Secret Work As FBI Informant – Untold story of how activist once aided probes of NYC wiseguys, has been making waves since Monday. In it, Sharpton ‘s past – including alleged mob-ties and informant allegations – is contrasted with his current high level of influence and prominence, both within the Obama administration and in the media.
The Smoking Gun Story begins:
“When friends and family members gathered recently at the White House for a private celebration of Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday, one of the invited partygoers was a former paid FBI Mafia informant… He was seated with his girlfriend at a table adjacent to President Barack Obama, who is likely unaware that, according to federal agents, his guest once interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families. He even secretly taped some of those wiseguys using a briefcase that FBI technicians outfitted with a recording device.”
The Smoking Gun and other news organizations have contended that Al Sharpton’s involvement as an informant was the result of him being caught on video talking cocaine deals with a drug kingpin, and by helping the feds, Sharpton avoided being charged.
Al Sharpton says the video was just of a failed sting.
In response to all the new information regarding his 1980s work as an informant, Al Sharpton claims he “did what was right” by helping the FBI and NYPD go after mafia figures.
New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, agrees with Sharpton. De Blasio is on board to give a speech at this week’s National Action Network convention on Wednesday, followed by a speech from, none other than, President Obama on Friday.
“Doesn’t change the relationship one bit. I’m very proud to be his friend,” de Blasio said of Sharpton with regard to the new revelations.
“What’s obvious from what he said this very morning is that he was asked by the FBI to support their efforts,” continued de Blasio. “And he agreed to help. And that’s what a citizen should do.”
The author of the Smoking Gun story on Al Sharpton’s FBI ties, William Bastone, thinks Sharpton’s claims are extremely suspect.
“The idea that he (Sharpton) made the recordings because this guy supposedly threatened him…. It’s just totally crazy,” said William Bastone, author of The Smoking Gun story. “He may not like considering himself a confidential informant, but that’s what he was. He wasn’t doing this out of the goodness of his heart.”
Al Sharpton countered, calling the whole thing racist, that when blacks help law enforcement they’re labeled snitches while others get called heroes.
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