Emanuel Heard Of Mahoney Tryst In '07

Former DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel was aware that Rep. Tim Mahoney may have had an extramarital affair in early 2007 -- but didn't know it involved a staffer or a cash settlement, according to a statement released by Emanuel's office.

In an ABC story on Mahoney's $121,000 payout to a female staffer with whom he allegedly had an affair, unnamed Mahoney staffers claimed the hard-driving Emanuel has been "working with Mahoney to keep the matter from hurting his re-election campaign."

Emanuel's office is pushing back, saying the two have never talked about the tryst in the context of Mahoney's 2008 race.

An Emanuel spokesperson described his 2007 chat with Mahoney this way: "Upon hearing a rumor, Congressman Emanuel confronted Congressman Mahoney, told him he was in public life and had a responsibility to act accordingly and appropriately, and urged him to do so. They had no further conversations on this topic.”