EDMONTON -- A former high-level political strategist criticized for his comments on child pornography says he was led into a trap.

Tom Flanagan of the University of Calgary says in a guest newspaper column that the question that prompted his remarks last week came out of left field and had nothing to do with the forum where he was speaking.

He also says the event was being secretly recorded on a cellphone camera, the contents of which were uploaded to the Internet and led to Flanagan's downfall.

Flanagan said at the forum in Lethbridge, Alta., that he questioned whether people viewing child pornography should be jailed for their quote - "taste in pictures.''

Flanagan made similar remarks three years earlier to the University of Manitoba's student newspaper.

Flanagan was a one-time strategist for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives and for Alberta's Wildrose party, and was a political pundit on CBC-TV -- all have since denounced him.

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