Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill, has been out of the public eye for months as he receives treatment for bipolar disorder. But Monday, The Daily found him outside of his Washington home, smoking a cigar, and spoke to the lawmaker -- the first time he's talked to press since taking a leave of absence from Congress early this summer:
Jackson told The Daily that he is "not well" and has doctor's appointments twice a day at George Washington University Hospital, not far from his home in the trendy DuPont Circle neighborhood: "I go over there ... at 10 [a.m.] and 1 p.m."
When The Daily's photographer took his picture earlier in the day, Jackson explained he had been "picking up my kids." He didn't elaborate on whether he was headed to the school or had just returned when he decided to take a cigar break on the steps, resting his lit Monte Cristo on a wall leading up to the front entrance of his red-brick Victorian. On the driveway were a cigar butt, a cigar band, a half-foot pile of ashes and a nearly full box of matches.
Jackson has had a rough few days. Gawker reported that he was seen out drinking at the same bar two nights in a row recently, with a different woman each night. And the Wall Street Journal reported that he's the subject of a criminal probe.