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Obama To Attend NYC Sharpton Conference

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U.S. President Barack Obama greets Rev Al Sharpton as he arrives to speak at the 20th anniversary National Action Network Gala on April 6, 2011 at a hotel in New York City. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama greets Rev Al Sharpton as he arrives to speak at the 20th anniversary National Action Network Gala on April 6, 2011 at a hotel in New York City. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — The Rev. Al Sharpton is holding his annual civil rights conference amid a backdrop of questions about his cooperation with the FBI in the 1980s.

Sharpton has admitted that he helped the FBI investigate New York Mafia figures. He even made secret recordings that appeared to help bring down a mob boss. But he says he didn’t consider himself to be an informant.

That admission came a day before Wednesday’s launch of the annual National Action Network conference in Manhattan.

This year’s event is drawing President Barack Obama, who is slated to speak Friday.

Attorney General Eric Holder is appearing Wednesday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio opened the conference Wednesday by saying he was “proud to stand with” Sharpton.

He said that Sharpton’s work gets more powerful with time.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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