Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Says He's "Not Well," Spotted at Local Bar

The Illinois congressman is also under investigation for allegedly misusing political campaign funds.

Posted: 10/17/2012 11:27 AM EDT

After months out of view, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has publicly addressed his absence, albeit in remarks shorter than the average tweet. A reporter from The Daily spotted the lawmaker outside of his Washington, D.C., home Tuesday, sitting with his father on the steps, smoking a cigar.


When asked about his health, Jackson told the news outlet that he is "not well" and has doctor's appointments two times a day at George Washington University Hospital at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to treat his Bipolar II disorder. The reporter told CBS Chicago that he hung his head down as he spoke and seemed "dejected."

But according to gossip site Gawker, Jackson's covalesence also includes hanging out at Bier Baron Tavern, a local craft beer bar near his home last Tuesday and Wednesday, which The Daily confirmed with a server there.

"He was here. He was drinking. He was with other people," the server said.

This latest news, coupled with a report that Jackson is under a federal criminal investigation for allegedly misusing campaign funds to redecorate his home, may not derail him from winning re-election in his heavily Democratic district. But it may increase the probability of more questions being raised about when and if he intends to return to work and increase requests to provide more details about his four-month absence.

"If I was advising him, I'd tell him he needs to hold a news conference to get his side of the story out there," Delmarie Cobb, a public relations expert who was chief of staff for Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s 1988 presidential campaign, told The Daily. "If he's going to have control of his message he has to orchestrate it, and sit down and prepare for it."

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(Photo: Courtesy of The Daily/CBS Chicago)

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