Rev. Jesse Jackson says he played no role and was not "an emissary" in alleged efforts to make a deal with Governor Rod Blagojevich for the appointment of his son, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) to the U.S. Senate.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Rev. Jackson said he last met with the Governor four months ago and was not the unnamed individual cited in the FBI affidavit who promised to raise up to a $1 million in exchange for the Senate seat.
"So I am not an emissary. I am not targeted. And I have no accusers. That's simply not true," Jackson told ABCNews.com as he arrived in Washington Thursday for an event sponsored by Operation PUSH.
"This is strange and painful speculation," Rev. Jackson said. He said his son, the Congressman, "is being tainted by the Governor's speculation about his fundraising activities."
"Politics is a contact sport. Only those on the sidelines have clean uniforms," he said.
In the FBI affidavit, Blagojevich is heard on hidden microphones recounting alleged promises from "emissaries" for Rep. Jackson.
"We were approached 'pay to play'. That you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made him (Senate Candidate 5) a Senator."
Senate Candidate 5 has been identified as Rep. Jackson.
The Congressman returned to Chicago today and is expected to be interviewed by the FBI tomorrow or Saturday.
He has denied being involved in any deal to trade for the Senate seat vacated by the election of Barack Obama as President.
Jackson said it was "an impossibility" that anyone connected to him would have made a deal on his behalf.