TODAY

TODAY   |  April 12, 2013

Activists eyed in Sen. McConnell bugging case

Authorities have focused attention in the secret recording case of Senator Mitch McConnell and his campaign team on two liberal activists with a group called Progress Kentucky. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> we have new details on who may have been behind a private conversation that was recorded at the campaign headquarters of senate minority leader mitch mcconnell . chuck todd has the latest. a story of intrigue.

>> it is. authorities believe they may be close to figuring out the whodunit on who made that recording of mitch mcconnell and his campaign team who were strategizing about how best to defeat actress ashley judd . it's two liberal activists at the center of the speculation. dominican kentucky democratic official jacob conway heard the leaked secret recording of mitch mcconnell and his campaign team on the " mother jones " website. he knew who did it.

>> i knew what was in the tape and i heard the " mother jones " article and says i know who it is.

>> the two activists bragged to him back in february about what they had captured just hours after recording it at mcconnell's headquarters.

>> they weren't trying to make money or get famous. i don't think they were planning on using it.

>> reporter: conway who was interviewed by the fbi thursday says he didn't think of telling anyone about the recording when he first heard about it as he was unaware the two activists had potentially committed a crime.

>> i did not want their silly mistake, their overzealous behavior to hurt the party which i love and care about.

>> reporter: one of the men conway identified, sean riley through an attorney denies involvement in the recording but admits to being a witness.

>> he is not a suspect in this investigation but like i said, he's been cooperative with the investigators and we don't want to compromise their investigation.

>> reporter: as for the other activist conway as was involved in the meeting when staffers were discussing the possibility of running against ashley judd , neither he nor his attorney have returned calls to be inning news. web the tapes first surfaced tuesday mcconnell openly speculated he thought progress kentucky was behind the recording.

>> apparently they also bugged my headquarters, so i think that pretty well sums up the way the political left is operating in kentucky .

>> reporter: if you want to know the crime, how a crime was committed, overhearing the conversation is not the crime. it was turning on that recording device. natalie?

>> that the whole world has now heard. chuck todd thanks