April 8th, 2014
01:27 PM ET
9 months ago

Sharpton denies any wrongdoing in FBI informant role

(CNN) – Al Sharpton sharply denied Tuesday he did anything wrong when he disclosed information about the mafia to the FBI starting in the 1980s.

"I did what was right. I did what I was always raised in the values of a praying mother to do," he said at a news conference in New York. "And I did what I tell kids every day, all over this country what they should do, and that is deal with getting guns and crime out of their community and cooperating with the law."

While it's been reported that Sharpton had previously assisted the FBI in cases involving celebrities, the website The Smoking Gun revealed Monday that the civil rights activist, MSNBC host, and friend of the Obamas was also involved in revealing secrets about five organized crime families

Labeled in documents as "C1-7" by FBI agents, the report said Sharpton especially cooperated with the federal agency, as well as the New York Police Department, to get dirt on the Genovese crime family. He reportedly carried a bugged briefcase to record conversations with mob bosses.

The report states that agents approached Sharpton after he was caught speaking to an undercover agent about drugs, though he did not explicitly offer to arrange a drug deal. That tape surfaced in 2002 in an HBO show as he was thinking about running for president.

In an interview on CNN’s “Crossfire” that same year, Sharpton explained the tape and denied he did anything wrong.

“One first would have to ask the question, Why would the FBI be trying to entrap me and then 19 years later come out with part of the tape, rather than coming out with the end of the situation, where we clearly said we wouldn't do drugs,” he said, adding that the HBO show should have aired more of the tape, which would have told the whole story.

He added at the time that he didn’t know the dealer was an FBI agent until “later” when “they came and said that he was an undercover agent.”

Asked if he became an informant, Sharpton, as he’s done this week, fired back and disputed that being an informant is a bad thing.

“To cooperate with the government is - in those cases, informant? I don't think so,” he said.

Sharpton reiterated Tuesday that the situation was being misconstrued, and he cast blame on the media for drawing conclusions that Sharpton's assistance to the FBI had derived from legal troubles.

"And I guess the message (the media) want to give is 'Don't do that because some wanna act like you a turncoat, like you are a criminal.' We're not criminals. We're not thugs. We are not those that find comfort having them in our community," he said.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at an annual convention Friday in New York hosted by Sharpton's organization, the National Action Network. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and three Obama Cabinet secretaries are also set to speak.


Filed under: Al Sharpton • FBI
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. sly

    Only in the unique world of right wing political spin is being an FBI informant made out to be a bad thing.
    ----
    Right Wing Upside Down Land:
    Cooperating with the FBI = bad
    Putin = hero
    discriminating against gays and women and most religions = freedom
    sickness and poverty = personal weakness
    =======

    Not many lower forms of life on earth than an American White Republican.

    Thank the good Lord God Himself for sending us President Obama and putting all the white trash in it's place. These are very good times for America!

    April 8, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Steve wrote:

    Rudy NYC, I would recommend you go short anytime Al calls for a guilty verdict if you want to have any money left. That man never gets his facts straight. He might care, but his blatant racism is staggering. If Jesse and he want crime and guns out of communities, then head to the South Side.
    -----------------------–
    I am no cheerleader for Mr. Sharpton. For years I had considered Sharpton to be the harbinger of doom. Everything he touched seemed to implode or turn out badly for those he was earnetly trying to help. I used to challenge people to name one thing thathe had involved himself and his involvement helped improve the situation for those he was trying to help.

    Since he lost weight, he seems to have lost some of whatever it was that was pressing down on his brain, shutting it down.

    April 8, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. IRONMIKE

    I always knew he was a RAT and would do anything to save his skin.

    April 8, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. aao

    The reason many people cannot be FBI informants is that they are connected to any crime family. How is that for an angle ?

    April 8, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. IRONMIKE

    sly here is one form of life that it is lower it is called a RAT

    April 8, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. sly

    "Possibly the reason why he hasn't paid taxes in his whole life."
    =====
    Leave Mitt Romney out of this.

    God knows that only Rich White Males evade taxes. It's in their gene's to lie and cheat.

    April 8, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @Fair is Fair
    Rudy NYC

    Only in the uniqure world of right wing political spin is being an FBI informant made out to be a bad thing.
    ---–
    He became an informant because he was going to go up the river for a drug deal. Now I know you don't believe that... but you'd have to be blind not to see that.

    April 8, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
    ****************************************************************************************************************8
    Please cite your source; your'e not exempt from facts, Fair.

    April 8, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "Only in the uniqure world of right wing political spin is being an FBI informant made out to be a bad thing."

    He became an informant because he was going to go up the river for a drug deal. Now I know you don't believe that... but you'd have to be blind not to see that.
    --------------------–
    Actually, you'd have to be blinded by ideology in order to see it that way.

    "The report states that agents approached Sharpton after he was caught speaking to an undercover agent about drugs, though he did not explicitly offer to arrange a drug deal. That tape surfaced in 2002 in an HBO show as he was thinking about running for president. "

    Have you seen the tape? If I saw it years ago, then I have no recollection of it. For years every situation that Sharpton had touched went south. He was the harbinger of doom. You'd be dead wrong to think that I'm a Sharpton fan, which doesn't mean that I hate the man, either.

    April 8, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. refuse2fail

    The man is totally a professional race-baiter and doesn't deserve a moment of media attention. People like Jesse and Al are RESPONSIBLE for

    April 8, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. j williamson

    It clearly sounds like the FBI version of "Let's Make a Deal" – and we're to believe that big Al did this out of the goodness of his heart. You just keep tap-dancing Al! P.S. Question: Has the good "Reverend" ever apologized for the Tawana Brawley hoax – or the smearing of the Duke University students? Of course not! Seems like Mama's prayers only went so far.

    April 8, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. refuse2fail

    Al is was and always will be nothing more than a professional race-baiter. It's people like him who fuel the fire of racism!

    April 8, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. Jerry2286

    The Rev Stool Pidgen should resign from MSNBC immediately.

    April 8, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Gabbo

    sly

    "Possibly the reason why he hasn't paid taxes in his whole life."
    =====
    Leave Mitt Romney out of this.

    God knows that only Rich White Males evade taxes. It's in their gene's to lie and cheat.

    ----
    The racist on these boards is named SLY

    April 8, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. liberal disease

    how many times has Al visited the Obama White house again?

    April 8, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. james

    Senator recognized his fault. Now, leave the office for another honest congressman LOL

    April 8, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at an annual convention Friday in New York hosted by Sharpton's organization, the National Action Network. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and three Obama Cabinet secretaries are also set to speak.
    -------

    Sounds like a major gathering of organized crime.... I hope the FBI/NSA/CIA is taping it all.

    April 8, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. sly

    IRONMIKE

    sly here is one form of life that it is lower it is called a RAT
    =====================

    The guy that told our navy seals where Osama Bin Laden was hiding was a Rat? So you'd rather see OBL alive than see someone turn him in?

    The guy who fingered the Boston Marathon bombers was also a Rat, so we should not have harmed them?

    Where do some of you crawl out of?

    April 8, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Ziggy Sardust

    "Thank the good Lord God Himself for sending us President Obama and putting all the white trash in it's place"

    Oh yes, thank you super being overlord in the sky for making this half white half black man president so he can rid the world of all the full white devils.

    April 8, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Chris-E...al

    A praying mother never hurts . But the Mafia can . I wonder how many times they had him in the scope and the shot did'nt present itself ?

    April 8, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    Fair – Sharpton was not going up the River on a drug deal. You know better. If you read the account years ago, you would have known that the FBI said it would be a "reach" to do that.

    April 8, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. sly

    Gabbo

    sly

    "Possibly the reason why he hasn't paid taxes in his whole life."
    =====
    Leave Mitt Romney out of this.

    God knows that only Rich White Males evade taxes. It's in their gene's to lie and cheat.

    --
    The racist on these boards is named SLY
    =======================
    Ain't nothin wrong with hating Rich White Males. Most of them should be stomped on.

    Then, hang-em from a tree. Make sure you are wearing your white robe while doing so ...

    April 8, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Tampa Tim

    Only a low life right wing reptile would call others rats.

    April 8, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Peter

    Maybe he will get a pair of concrete overshoes out of the deal.

    April 8, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Pami

    I dont understand if Al is or was an informant.. who the hell is telling the press and publicly announcing it? Cant anyone see the stupidity of that alone? Besides you cant even figure out what fbi youre suppose to talk to cause all these rouge people run around CLAIMING TO BE INVESTIGATORS with no backing or authority that isnt associated with rackateering anyway

    April 8, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Masterfudge007

    When in a room of snakes, sometimes you need to conduct yourself as 1 to survive.Big Al has the juice in a lot of places.

    April 8, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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