ABC reporter: Foley's office tried to strike a deal

An exclusive on Foley's resignation in exchange for silence on sexually explicit instant messages.

Published October 2, 2006 7:29PM (EDT)

According to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, a strategist for Rep. Mark Foley tried to strike a deal with ABC's Brian Ross under which Ross would get an exclusive -- the announcement of Foley's resignation -- in exchange for Ross' agreement not to go public with the explicit instant messages Foley sent to pages.

Ross said no.

Kurtz's brief report on Foleygate also pokes a serious hole in the theory -- coming from some quarters on the right -- that ABC sat on news about the congressman in order to inflict the most political damage possible on the GOP. Ross tells Kurtz that he first received Foley's sexually explicit IM exchanges after he published Foley's less incriminating e-mail exchange on ABC's news blog Thursday.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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