Blagojevich Has a Lot to Say About Trump

Former Illinois governor gushes about the president, calls himself a 'Trumpocrat'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 19, 2020 1:47 PM CST
Blagojevich Press Conference Almost Like a Trump Ad
A large banner reading Thanks Mr. President adorns the porch of the home of former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich as members of the media prepare for a news conference with with him, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Chicago, after his release from a Colorado prison late the night before.   (AP Photo/Katie Foody)

Rod Blagojevich promised he'd have more to say about the president Wednesday, and true to his word, the former Illinois Democratic governor gushed about Donald Trump after the Republican president commuted his sentence for political corruption, speaking Wednesday at a press event outside his Chicago home that sounded like an extended campaign ad for the president. Blagojevich spoke in front of a large sign hanging off the landing of his home that read, “Thanks Mr. President." One man in a crowd of more than 100 reporters and well-wishers wore a rubber Blagojevich mask and hoisted the former governor's 2006 campaign sign. The governor-turned-convicted felon even added an endorsement of Trump's bid for a second term, the AP reports. “I'm a Trumpocrat,” said Blagojevich, flanked by his wife and two daughters. “If I had the ability to vote, I would vote for him.”

During the event in Chicago, the president fired off a tweet about Blagojevich, saying Blagojevich paid “a big price” for his convictions. Trump also alluded to Blagojevich's convictions for seeking to exchange an appointment to the US Senate seat vacated by then President-elect Barack Obama for campaign contributions. “Rod Blagojevich did not sell the Senate seat,” Trump tweeted. Prosecutors have said that they decided to arrest then-Gov. Blagojevich at his home on Dec. 9, 2008, so that could thwart his plan to sell the seat. Outside the same home Wednesday, Blagojevich repeatedly praised the president, describing him a criminal justice reformer and thanking Trump for setting him free; the 63-year-old left federal prison Tuesday. But he also, as he continually dabbed a handkerchief on a cut on his chin, explained to reporters, “It's been a long time since I shaved with a normal razor.”

(More Rod Blagojevich stories.)

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