In a lengthy interview with ABC News’ Brian Ross, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says he’s still good friends with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
“Jack Abramoff is still a friend of mine,” DeLay said. He said he last talked to Abramoff about a month ago, when the lobbyist got out of jail. What did they talk about? “None of your business,” DeLay said.
DeLay appeared on ABC after the Justice Department told DeLay it would not pursue charges against him.DeLay was being investigated over his ties to Abramoff, who was convicted on a slew of corruption charges. DeLay’s former chief of staff, Ed Buckham, allegedly set up a grassroots organization and a lobbying firm that, in practice, operated as a way to take thousands from lobbyists in exchange for access to DeLay. Abramoff was one of Buckham’s first, and biggest, clients.
“Many other lobbyists are friends of mine,” DeLay told Ross.
He also railed against the investigation, saying it was never about him, but about Abramoff.
And he was asked if there were any lessons to be learned from the Abramoff days.
“None at all,” DeLay said. “The lesson to learn is, don’t break the law.”