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Report: Sharpton was FBI mob informant

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

The Rev. Al Sharpton is denying a report that he was a former paid FBI Mafia informant.  He characterized his work with the FBI as "cooperating with an investigation."

Sharpton spoke out at a news conference on Tuesday, a day after The Smoking Gun published the the explosive report.

The report claims that Sharpton interacted with members of four of New York City’s five organized crime families and even secretly taped some conversations using a briefcase that FBI technicians outfitted with a recording device.

The report claims that Sharpton's recordings helped target powerful Mafia figures.

The site says Sharpton was known as “CI-7” to the FBI and began aiding the FBI in the mid-1980s.

FBI’s principal targets were leaders of the Genovese crime family.

Sharpton said he went to the FBI after he was threatened by mobsters working in the music business, a story he recounted in his 1996 book, "Go and Tell Pharaoh."

He read a passage from the book Tuesday and said, "Nothing new about that story."

Sharpton acknowledged using a recording device in a briefcase but said he did nothing wrong.

"In this situation I did what was right," he said.

The Smoking Gun's says its reporting is based on hundreds of pages of confidential FBI affidavits, documents released by the bureau in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, court records, and extensive interviews with six members of the Genovese squad, as well as other law enforcement officials.

Records obtained by The Smoking Gun reportedly show that information gathered by Sharpton was used 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.
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