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Rod Blagojevich speaks after Trump commutes his sentence


Ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich spoke to reporters Wednesday afternoon after his release late Tuesday from a prison in Colorado upon President Trump's commutation of his sentence. Blagojevich served eight years of a 14-year sentence on corruption charges and had been incarcerated since 2012. He did not answer any questions.

Blagojevich began his remarks by expressing "our most profound and everlasting gratitude to President Trump." Blagojevich, a Democrat, noted that commuting his sentence "does nothing to help his politics."

"President Trump is a man who is tough and outspoken, but he also has a kind heart," Blagojevich said. He called himself a "Trumpocrat," and said he would vote for the president if he were allowed to vote as a convicted felon.

Blagojevich, who had cut himself shaving and bled from his chin throughout his remarks, joked: "I'm bruised, I'm battered, I'm bloody."

He was convicted on 18 corruption counts, including one related to an attempt to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat after Mr. Obama was elected president in 2008. Some of the charges were subsequently thrown out on appeal.

The president said Tuesday that Blagojevich "served eight years in jail, a long time," and called his sentence "a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence, in my opinion." The ex-governor was once a contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice," but was fired in the fourth episode of the season.

He was released from FCI Englewood prison in Colorado late Tuesday, hours after Mr. Trump announced the commutation. Blagojevich maintains that he never committed any crimes and that he was "persecuted and railroaded."

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