- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Rev. Al Sharpton denied Monday a new report claiming he served as a paid FBI mob informant in the mid-1980s.

“I don’t see this as news,” Mr. Sharpton told FoxNews.com. “This has been brought up three or four times now. I don’t understand. It’s crazy.”

The report released Monday by The Smoking Gun claims that Mr. Sharpton regularly interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families, specifically leaders of the Genovese family, and he secretly recorded their conversations.

He was known by the FBI as “CI-7” — short for confidential informant No. 7 — and information he gathered was used by federal investigators to help secure court authorization to bug two Genovese family social clubs, “including Gigante’s Greenwich Village headquarters, three autos used by crime family leaders and more than a dozen phone lines,” the report said.

Mr. Sharpton acknowledged assisting the FBI beginning in 1983, but he disputed much of The Smoking Gun’s report, the New York Daily News reported.

“If you’re a victim of a threat, you’re not an informant — you’re a victim trying to protect yourself,” he said, also denying that he was ever paid by the FBI.

“I was never told I was an informant or I had a number or none of that,” he said. “Whether or not they used some of the other information they got during that period for other purposes, I don’t know.”

Mr. Sharpton allegedly became an FBI informant after he was recorded discussing cocaine deals with an undercover agent, The Smoking Gun reported. The federal authorities’ interest in Mr. Sharpton stemmed from his ties to boxing promoter Don King and criminals in the entertainment industry.

Mr. Sharpton denied having any contact with the FBI beyond alerting them of mobsters attempting to muscle black concert promoters.

“I have no knowledge of doing anything more than trying to stop the mob from threatening and limiting our fight for black concert promoters,” he told Fox News.

An FBI spokesman told FoxNews.com: “As a rule, the [agency] does not confirm the identity of sources.”

The revelations come as Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network holds a convention in New York, which Mayor Bill de Blasio and President Obama are expected to attend.

The reverend told FoxNews.com that the report was “probably” timed for the conference.

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