Convicted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich went on Fox News in his first post-release interview and held very little back about Barack Obama’s involvement in the scandal that put him in prison, while the first black president was never held accountable.
Appearing on “Watters’ World” with Jesse Watters, Blagojevich was quickly asked about the 2008 Senate-seat-for-sale scandal, in which Blagojevich had negotiated appointing an Obama-approved candidate, in exchange for a cabinet position.
“Did you ever talk to Barack Obama about this Senate seat? Did he have any knowledge about what was going on or not?” Watters asked.
“President Obama began the whole conversation because he sent someone to me as a middleman, a mediator — not unusual in politics — on the night he was elected president to say that he’d like to talk about his choice for the Senate and to see what I might be willing to ask for,” Blagojevich told him. “Political horse-trading, not what those corrupt prosecutors said it was.”
The liason was Tom Balanoff, “a big union leader,” Blagojevich explained.
“So it was Barack Obama’s understanding that his liaison was going to work with you to appoint the guy that was going to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat, and Barack Obama, incoming president, wanted to know what was going to be in exchange for the seat, is that what you’re saying?” Watters asked.
“Yeah, he was basically, you know, asking whether—the emissary that represented President-elect Obama was interested in a candidate for the Senate, and he asked what would you be interested in, those kinds of things, and we began a discussion over the telephone on what we might or might not ask for as part of a horse deal. It was routine politics, not anything corrupt or illegal like they tried to say it was,” Blagojevich replied.
The host then asked whether money was involved as part of the deal.
“I never said that there was money in exchange for the Senate seat. We talked about Cabinet positions, we talked about, frankly, federal money for the state of Illinois to address some of the issues we had in our state, we talked about ambassadorships,” Blagojevich explained.
Watters then asked if he was angry a Barack Obama. “I’m disappointed in Barack Obama, I’m not angry at him.”
And that’s when Watters really went for the goods.
“Do you know things about Barack Obama that you haven’t spoken to anybody about?”
Well, let me say this generally, I know a lot of things about a lot of different people who I knew in politics, that I haven’t spoken about and I would not exclude him from that list.”
“Are you planning about speaking about what you know about Barack Obama and how he came up in that Chicago system?” Watters followed up.
“Well, I’m interested in telling the truth, and doing it without any spirit of meanness or malice, but to be truthful and talking about things that might be of interest and might serve the public good.”
Sounds like Blagojevich is looking for a book deal where he can potentially dish secrets about Barack Obama and other corrupt politicians who came out of Chicago.
I said last week that Barack Obama is probably terrified that Blagojevich is now a free man, and it looks like Blagojevich is going to deliver.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis