* Exclusive interview on the plane ride home…
The first revelation from Blagojevich actually involved his shoes. He was almost giddy to be wearing decent running shoes, after enduring prison-issued “cheaply made” shoes as he called them during his daily one-mile runs on the prison track.
The comfortable shoes, although conspicuously still on jailhouse white socks, seemed to be a symbol of Blagojevich’s newfound freedom and he would unconsciously rub his hands over them frequently on the flight-seemingly for verification that they were real and he was headed home.
Passengers on the flight were mostly happy to see him and he them. Many offered observations that he had been locked up too long and deserved to be out. Ever-the-candidate-for-something, Mr. Blagojevich played along and appeared to enjoy it.
He told me that in the depths of his years in prison, he couldn’t conceive of those public moments ever happening again.
Early in the flight there was one uncomfortable and raw exchange with the passenger right across the aisle. She told Blagojevich in an angry voice that his corrupt conduct was “offensive and outrageous” and that the Illinois Democrat had become “a surrogate of Trump.” Over the aisle and in a bitter tone, the woman told Blagojevich that he should “sneak away and don’t make it worse.”
* More from ABC7…
Blagojevich caught a flight home to Chicago out of Denver around 8:30 p.m. Central Time, and spoke to reporters as he prepared to board the plane. He said he didn’t have advanced warning of Trump’s decision; instead, he found out through the news like everyone else.
“My first thought was, ‘I wonder if I’ll have time to get a run in,’ believe it or not,” Blagojevich said. “Because you get programmed, you have routines and I found that it helps through this time when you discipline yourself every day and you have something to work for, it helps you do it. And so I had a run planned and I think, I wonder if I’ll get that in before I go. And there was this helicopter over the prison so I thought well, maybe I won’t run, so I went and did push-ups.” […]
“I’m going to fight against the corrupt criminal justice system that all too often persecutes and prosecutes people who did nothing wrong, who over-sentences people, show no mercy, who are in positions who have no accountability,” Blagojevich said. “They can do whatever they want. They can put you into prison for things that aren’t crimes.”
* NBC 5…
Blagojevich said despite the different party affiliations, “he’s got obviously a big fan in me and if you’re asking me what my party affiliation is, I’m a ‘Trump-ocrat,’” he added.
“I never gave into the false accusations and the railroading that was done to me and my family because if I did that, I would’ve violated my oath of office and my commitment to them,” Blagojevich said. “You know, I wasn’t just some business man who may have done some things that maybe you make a decision because it’s practical, a business decision…I was an elected governor twice by the people of Illinois, they trusted me and I didn’t let them down and so fighting back was a way to not only stand up for my own reputation, and for my children, my wife, of my late parents who raised me the right way, but it was a way to fight for the people of Illinois.”
Among getting to hug and kiss his family soon, he said after a few days of settling in, one thing he is most looking forward to — the idea of eating a banana split.
“I’d like to have three scoops of ice cream, vanilla, and chocolate and strawberry with chocolate syrup on it and cherry syrup, and pineapple syrup, with a whole bunch of whip cream but no peanuts cause my youngest daughter Andy is allergic,” Blagojevich said.
* CBS 2…
“I didn’t let (the people) down, and I never gave into the false accusations and the railroading that was done to me and my family, because if I did that, I would have violated my oath of office and my commitment to them,” he said.
Without naming anyone, Blagojevich slammed the prosecutors who pursued the corruption charges against him.
“Fighting back was a way to not only stand up for my own reputation, and for my children, and for my wife, and for my late parents who raised me the right way, but it was a way to fight for the people of Illinois against corrupt prosecutors who have too much power, who are accountable to no one, and who break the law to do their jobs because it enhances their careers,” he said.
As to what his second act would be, Blagojevich said: “I’m going to fight against the corrupt criminal justice system that all too often persecutes and prosecutes people who did nothing wrong, who over-sentence people, show no mercy, and who are in positions that have no accountability. They can do and say whatever they want.” […]
“I’d like to have a banana split, and I’d like to have three scoops of ice cream – vanilla and chocolate and strawberry – with chocolate syrup on it, and cherry syrup, and pineapple syrup, with a whole bunch of whipped cream, but no peanuts, because my younger daughter Annie is allergic to peanuts – so I want to be able to kiss her, so no peanuts, because I can’t kiss her when I eat peanuts – and I want extra cherries on top,” he said.
* Certain teevee reporters have always been attracted to the man…
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was laughing and joking with TV reporters Tuesday night after his release from federal prison, thanks to President Donald Trump, and his return home to Chicago.
If you can stomach it, click here to watch his press conference. I’m sure it’ll be a treat.
* And in other news, backing Blagojevich to own the state’s attorney…
Sneed has learned Chicago Fraternal Order of Police union president Kevin Graham wrote a letter to President Donald Trump weeks ago requesting the commutation of former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s prison sentence.
“I believe everybody should be treated fairly in the city and prosecutors can go into overdrive with excessive sentencing, and I felt Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence was excessive,“ Graham told Sneed. […]
“We just believed a 14-year sentence was over the top … compared to what goes on in Cook County where people don’t get 14 years for murder!” Graham said.
* Will Blagojevich Run for (Federal) Office? Some Experts Say Maybe (actually just one expert)