Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Diary bombshell: RFK’s secret slams against Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Gov. Cuomo

By Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein
The Post exclusively reported Sunday how Robert F. Kennedy Jr. grappled with what he called his “lust demons” and kept a scorecard of more than two dozen conquests in a secret diary. Below are more sensational details from the journal, in which RFK Jr., a member of the political elite, bashes everyone from then-brother-in-law Andrew Cuomo to the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
Over breakfast on New Year’s Day 2001, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his brother-in-law Andrew Cuomo sat down to talk politics.
Cuomo’s tenure as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development was about to end, and he sought Kennedy’s counsel as he mulled a run for New York governor.
“Andrew could win because he is totally focused and energetic,” Kennedy later observes. “He could lose because he lacks humanity and doesn’t love people. He is not a retail politician.”
Cuomo did go on to seek the Democratic nomination in 2002 and blundered badly. His criticism of Gov. George Pataki in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks was widely viewed as inappropriate and derailed his campaign.
Kennedy recorded the thoughts in a bombshell diary from 2001, a copy of which was reviewed by The Post. The fat, red book, covered with bumper stickers shouting liberal slogans, bluntly reveals the scion’s true feelings about some of the most important political figures of our time, including family members such Cuomo, fellow Democrats and Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
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RFK Jr. also kept notes for his journal during his month-long stint in a Puerto Rican prison that July. He, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson’s wife, Jacqueline, were charged with trespassing during protests on Vieques, the Puerto Rican island the US Navy used as a bombing range.
The Revs. Jackson and Sharpton “give me the creeps,” Kennedy writes in a July 5 entry.
“Al Sharpton has done more damage to the black cause than [segregationist Alabama Gov.] George Wallace. He has suffocated the decent black leaders in New York,” he says. “His transparent venal blackmail and extortion schemes taint all black leadership.”
Rev. Al Sharpton gave Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “the creeps,” he wrote in his diary.
He goes on to call Sharpton a “buffoon” who has never escaped the “stench” of his advocacy for Tawana Brawley, the black Dutchess County teen who fabricated a story about six white men raping her in 1987.
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Kennedy said that he couldn’t forget the Brawley episode.Shahar Azran/WireImage
He writes that Jesse Jackson has “a desperate and destructive addiction to publicity.”
He recalls that Jackson, at labor leader Cesar Chavez’s funeral, pushed “Cesar’s friends and family out of the way to make himself lead pall bearer.”
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“I feel like with Jesse, it’s all about Jesse,” Kennedy writes.AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
“His love affair with [Nation of Islam leader] Louis Farrakhan and his Jewish xenophobia are also unforgivable,” Kennedy adds.
“I feel dirty around him, and I feel like I’m being used. I feel like with Jesse, it’s all about Jesse.”
Kennedy responded on Sunday to the revelation of his journal.
“The New York Post has chosen to print excerpts from a 13-year-old diary illegally stolen from me,” he said in an e-mail.
“The diary served as a tool for self-examination and for dealing with my spiritual struggles at the time. It also contains unedited, unfiltered stream-of-consciousness musings about current events and people.’’
“Nothing in that diary was ever meant for publication. I have nothing but respect for Governor Cuomo, Rev. Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, all of whom have distinguished themselves as extraordinary national leaders over the past decade.”
But in the journal, even former Gov. Mario Cuomo — who was Kennedy’s lawyer in the Vieques case — is not spared criticism.
Cuomo, the father-in-law of his sister Kerry Kennedy at the time, was working on a deal to spare RFK Jr. prison time in the case, but the environmentalist, seeking to shine a spotlight on endangered species in the region, insisted on being treated like the other protesters.
At first, he ripped Cuomo’s judgment on his case. Then he ultimately acknowledged that Cuomo had done a “good job.”
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Even former Gov. Mario Cuomo faces criticism in Kennedy’s diary.Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
While locked up, Kennedy had a stream of prominent visitors, including then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton, he writes, spoke of her recent visit to Sharpton in a Brooklyn cell block where he was alone with four television sets.
Clinton said Sharpton griped about being strip-searched — and also “went off on’’ Jackson.
Other jail visitors included actor Benicio del Toro and Kennedy’s mother, Ethel, whom he refers to as “Mummy.”
Kennedy was released in early August 2001, a month before 9/11.
On Sept. 11, 2001, he writes: “Armageddon!!”
The next day, Kennedy writes that President George W. Bush is “an idiot and a puppet, and it’s painful watching him on TV.”
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“It’s agonizing having him as our leader,” Kennedy wrote of George W. Bush.EPA/CHRIS KLEPONIS
On Sept. 15, he calls Bush a simpleton who is “promising revenge in a crusade.”
“He will drop million-dollar bombs on 10 dollar houses in Kabul and bomb [them] back to the dirt age,” he says. “It’s agonizing having him as our leader, and I know the forces of darkness in his administration will turn this awful tragedy to their advantage.”
Kennedy puts his feelings aside Nov. 20 to attend the renaming of the Justice Department headquarters in Washington, DC, after his father, a former US attorney general.
“Bush was charming,” he recalls.
But he had a tougher time with Edwin Meese, attorney general under President Ronald Reagan.
“I had to hold my nose when I shook hands with Ed Meese, but I did it,” he writes, without explaining the reason for his scorn.
Back in New York, Kennedy — who was backing Democrat Mark Green in the mayor’s race against Michael Bloomberg — praises Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s handling of 9/11 but is outraged by the prospect of Giuliani staying past his final term to deal with the aftermath of the terror attacks.
“I saw Rudy Giuliani, that little despot, threatening on TV last night to make some sort of deal with the mayoral candidates about staying on for a couple extra months,” he writes.
He says Giuliani was “desperate” to hold onto power.
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was also critical of Rudy Giuliani.
Kennedy writes that he reached out to Green “in case he might be tempted by this absurd offer.” Green told him he already heard from Giuliani, who threatened to run for a third term if he could not stay on for three extra months.
The plan never went forward, and Bloomberg won the election.
Kennedy writes that he had breakfast with Bloomberg on Dec. 11 and that the mayor-elect “committed to consult me” on his choice of commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection.
President Clinton also consulted Kennedy on Jan. 19, his last day in the Oval Office. Clinton wanted to discuss Vieques.
“He sounded tired, and I knew this was a call he didn’t want to make,” Kennedy writes.
Two months later, the two marched in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Mount Kisco. Recalling their talk, Kennedy writes that he said Clinton seemed to be “taking a beating” — possibly a reference to the president’s controversial pardon of campaign donor Marc Rich on tax-evasion charges.
Clinton replied, “I know, seems like there’s different rules for the Republicans than for me.”
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