Al Sharpton was forced to confront his sordid (and much fatter) past on his MSNBC show Tuesday evening, telling his audience he “did the right thing” by ratting out mobsters to the FBI and decrying the “no-snitch campaign” occurring in black and minority communities.
Since The Smoking Gun revealed that Sharpton was “Confidential Informant 7″ in a long-term FBI investigation against the Mafia, the MSNBC host has been cagey about his law enforcement experience in the mid-1980s.
But the reverend broke that silence Tuesday night, saying he reached out to the FBI after being threatened by “people who claimed to be mobsters.”
“I contacted the FBI, even though I’d had recent run-ins with them in a separate boxing investigation,” he claimed. “My call led to my cooperating with the FBI against those mob guys, or who they say they were, to try to protect myself and others.”
Sharpton also said it’s “not a new story,” and was reported in the press and in his 1996 book “Go and Tell Pharaoh.”
“I did the right thing working with authorities,” he asserted. “I didn’t consider myself an ‘informant,’ wasn’t told I was that. I was an American citizen with every right to call law enforcement, and that’s the lesson I want to emphasize tonight.”
“Many of us are pushing back hard against this ‘no-snitch campaign,’” he said. “We can’t have kids feel as though there’s something wrong with helping the police keep communities safe and getting guns out the neighborhood. I’ve certainly had my differences with police and still requested them.”
Sharpton’s segue into community security and police cooperation may also help obscure other theories about his cooperation with the FBI. According to The Smoking Gun, “knowledgable law enforcement agents” uniformly believe Sharpton was caught in illegal activity, and only worked with the FBI out of ‘self-preservation.’”
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