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Brazile: Jackson Jr. Claim Doesn't Meet The 'Smell Test'

Jackson Close-Up

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., pauses during last Wednesday's news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP Photo hide caption

toggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP Photo

On today's show, Democratic strategist and News & Notes regular contributor Donna Brazile said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s claim that he is not an informant in a federal investigation of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich
"didn't meet the smell test."

Farai Chideya: ... What's the status in your mind of Congressman Jackson's ability to frame the debate around his role, or lack thereof in this?

Donna Brazile: You know, when you start issuing press releases every other day, things become a little bit murky. After his first press conference, I called him to say I thought he did a great job in laying out the facts, and essentially acknowledging that he was "Candidate 5."

Now with this new revelation that he may or may not have served as a government informant, and then another press release indicating that he did nothing wrong — all he was doing as a public servant was informing federal officials something that was going on — that didn't meet the smell test.

I have to tell you, I too, am one of those Americans that's waiting for Mr. Fitzgerald to lay out all of the information to give us a complete account on what happened and to see the evidence. Right now, it's a lot of innuendo, a lot of hearsay, a lot of talk. But this seems to be a web that is going to ensnare a lot more than the governor, and it worries me deeply.

Listen to the entire segment here.

CNN quotes Jackson spokesman Kenneth Edmonds on the matter: "As a responsible citizen and elected official, Congressman Jackson has in the past provided information to federal authorities regarding his personal knowledge of perceived corruption and governmental misconduct. ... This was completely unrelated to the current investigation regarding the U.S. Senate appointment. And it is absolutely inaccurate to describe the congressman as an informant."

Do you agree with Brazile's assessment?



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