President Obama isn't worried about the Rev. Al Sharpton's history as an FBI informant with ties to the mafia, his spokesman said, and doesn't think that the news makes his impending visit to Sharpton's National Action Network awkward.
"Rev. Sharpton and the National Action Network have made significant contributions to civil rights efforts, and the President looks forward to appearing at the conference," White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters during the Wednesday press gaggle.
Sharpton was "rolled" by the FBI after they caught him on tape using his credibility as a civil rights leader to attempt to cut a deal with the mob, according to a former New York State law enforcement official who says he listened to a wiretap of Sharpton's conversation with crime boss Joseph Pagano.
“He was rolled, Sharpton was rolled and he cooperated,” Joseph Coffey, who served on the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, said. "According to Coffey, Sharpton was attempting to 'shake down Madison Square Garden' to provide 10,000 tickets to a rock concert, or else he'd have pickets ringing the perimeter of the Garden," PIX11 News explained.
The New York Daily News says that "Sharpton allegedly became an FBI informant after he was caught on tape with a drug kingpin discussing cocaine deals."