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Obama: I was 'unaware' of alleged conspiracy
By John Patterson | Daily Herald Staff

President-elect Barack Obama is seen after speaking about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich at a press conference Tuesday.


Associated Press

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Published: 12/9/2008 2:48 PM | Updated: 12/9/2008 2:49 PM

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President-elect Barack Obama said he was "unaware" that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was trying to profit from his ability to name a successor to Obama's U.S. Senate seat for the next two years.

"I had no contact with the governor or his office," Obama told reporters. He said he was "saddened and sobered" by Blagojevich's arrest on federal charges Tuesday.

He offered no other comments about the matter during a brief media availability that was supposed to focus on the environment and included Vice President-elect Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore.

But that was quickly overwhelmed by news of Blagojevich's arrest and the salacious nature of the allegations, that include Blagojevich and his aides using profane language to refer to Obama's incoming administration and the Senate seat he gets to appoint.

"I've got this thing and it's (expletive deleted) golden, and, uh, uh, I'm just not giving it up for (expletive deleted) nothing," Blagojevich is alleged to have said in conversations taped by federal authorities.