Obama: I had no contact with the governor about Senate seat

The president-elect says he never spoke with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about his vacant post.


Alex Koppelman
December 10, 2008 1:34AM (UTC)

The Associated Press reports that President-elect Barack Obama has issued his first public statement about the arrest of Rod Blagojevich, his state's governor and the man charged with picking his replacement in the Senate.

"Obama says he is saddened by allegations that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tried to trade favors for Obama's Senate seat -- and says he had no contact with the governor or his office on the matter," the AP reports, adding that Obama says he won't comment further due to the ongoing investigation.

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Of course, if Obama had contact with Blagojevich, we have some idea how it might have gone from the complaint against the governor, which outlines a telephone call in which he allegedly expressed indignation at the idea that he should give "[this] motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator. Fuck him. For nothing? Fuck him."

Blagojevich appeared before a federal judge in Chicago Tuesday afternoon, and was released on his own recognizance.

Update: ABC News' Jake Tapper points out that top Obama advisor was telling a different story last month, when he appeared on a Chicago television news show. At the time, Axelrod said, referring to Obama, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

Update 2: An anonymous Obama aide tells Politico's Ben Smith that Axelrod "misspoke."


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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