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Fri August 19, 2011
Kwame Kilpatrick is out of prison and talking with the media
The New York Times Magazine published a Q & A with former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick online today.
Adam Goldman asked Kilpatrick about his time in jail, his relationship with Christine Beatty, lying under oath, and more.
Kilpatrick told Goldman that lying under other was "the only illegal thing I've ever done in my life" and that the federal government's bribery and racketeering charges are false:
All of it is absolutely untrue. I’ve never accepted a bribe. I’ve never got a kickback. I’ve never steered a contract. It’s all ridiculous. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
Goldman asked Kilpatrick about suggestions that he was brought down by a conspiracy. Kilpatrick said he never called it a conspiracy, but that investigations are "always ongoing" in politics to undermine others:
As the leader of the Democrats in the Statehouse, I ran campaigns all over the state, and we did opposition research. We looked into people’s finances. There’s constantly investigations, private eyes. Right now there are people conspiring to make sure that Barack Obama doesn’t win next time.
Kilpatrick told Goldman that he thought he would win if he ran for Mayor again, but said "it wouldn’t be the best thing for the people there."
Goldman said he was "amazed" that Kilpatrick was brought down by text messages from 2002 and 2003 - a time when people weren't texting all that much. Kilpatrick suggested he texted so the FBI couldn't record his phone calls:
The F.B.I. investigated Mayor Coleman Young, and they had all of these tapes of his phone calls. So, my thing was: “Hey, I’m doing this new texting thing. They can’t listen to this.” But now they can print it out and read it for all eternity.
Kilpatrick also appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show saying he lost 50 pounds in prison from working out and avoiding the bad food.
On the show, Kilpatrick said that the pending federal corruption case against him grew out of the political climate surrounding him after he lied under oath about the text messaging scandal. After that case, Kilpatrick said "all kinds of rumors" started with many people labeling him as Detroit's "Hip Hop Mayor."