CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in months, ailing U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been sighted out in public, and talked about his battle with Bipolar II disorder.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports the online news outlet “The Daily” spotted Jackson on the front steps of his home in Washington, D.C., and in a story published Tuesday, Jackson said he is “not well,” and sees doctors twice a day.
Jackson did not, however, discuss recent reports that he is under federal investigation for allegedly misusing campaign funds to have his home redecorated.
While Jackson did talk to reporter Mark Stricherz from the online news source, “The Daily”, it was no in-depth interview. He spoke less than 20 words.
The congressman was photographed wearing jeans, gym shoes, and a baggy white collared shirt, as he left his home in D.C.’s DuPont Circle. He was also holding a cigar, and was smoking it when a reporter arrived to talk to him.
Jackson said he’s “not well,” and has appointments at George Washington University Hospital twice a day, saying “I go over there at 10 [a.m.] and 1 p.m.”
Other pictures taken before he talked to Stricherz show Jackson, in his words, “picking up my kids.”
In a phone interview, Stricherz described how Jackson looked during the brief interview.
“I asked him how he was feeling. He said, ‘Not well,’ and then he hung his head down. Not toward his father, but just down like he was dejected,” Stricherz said.
He said he did not get a chance to ask the congressman about the latest reported legal troubles.
“The context of our conversation was what he was doing that day, and that was it more than anything else,” Stricherz said.
His father, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., told Stricherz his son is “just trying to clear his head.” He said he doesn’t know his son’s daily routine.
The article didn’t say whether Jackson Jr. addressed reports that he was seen twice last week visiting the Bier Baron Tavern in D.C.
However, the story said a server at the bar claimed Jackson was drinking with a group of men and women at the bar last week.
Jackson was released from the Mayo Clinic last month, after undergoing treatment for Bipolar II disorder. He returned to his home in Washington, D.C., where he has been convalescing, according to his aides and family.
Jackson’s wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) has said she does not know if he will return to work, or to the campaign trail, before the November election.