Foley tried to 'deal' with ABC

Published: Monday October 2, 2006

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A Republican strategist attempted to offer ABC news access in exchange for not printing sexually-explicit instant messages sent by Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL,) according to a report buried in the Media Notes section of the Washington Post.

The relevant excerpt follows:


On Friday afternoon, a strategist for Rep. Mark Foley tried to cut a deal with ABC's Brian Ross.

The correspondent, who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent to teenage House pages, had asked to interview the Florida Republican. Foley's former chief of staff said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw, sexually explicit messages.

"I said we're not making any deals," Ross recalls. He says the Internet made the story possible, because on Thursday he posted a story on his ABC Web page, the Blotter, after obtaining one milder e-mail that Foley had sent a 16-year-old page, asking for a picture. Within two hours, former pages had e-mailed Ross and provided the salacious messages. The only question then, says Ross, was "whether this could be authenticated."