CHICAGOLAND: RAHM REFUSES QUESTIONS
President-elect Barack Obamaâ€™s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, refused to take questions from reporters this morning about whether he was the Obama â€śadvisorâ€ť named in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The complaint states Blagojevich wanted a promise of a high-level appointment or some other reward for Blagojevich in exchange for Blagojevich naming Obamaâ€™s friend Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
Emanuel was uncharacteristically absent from Obamaâ€™s news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicagoâ€™s City Hall. He was there to listen to his two children performing in a concert with their school, Anshe Emet.
A Sun-Times reporter pressed him to comment about whether he was the emissary named in the criminal complaint.
â€śYouâ€™re wasting your time,â€ť Emanuel said. â€śIâ€™m not going to say a word to you. Iâ€™m going to do this with my children. Dont do that. Iâ€™m a father. I have two kids. Iâ€™m not going to do it.â€ť
Asked, â€śCanâ€™t you do both?â€ť Emanuel replied, â€śIâ€™m not as capable as you. Iâ€™m going to be a father. Iâ€™m allowed to be a father,â€ť and he pushed the reporterâ€™s digital recorder away.
Blagojevch was caught on tape saying that he wanted the Obama advisor in question to know what Blagojevich wanted in exchange for the Jarrett appointment.
Blagojevich said, â€śHe asks me for the fifth CD thing, I want it to be in his head.â€ť Emanuel represents the 5th Congressional District in Illinois.
No one in the Obama campaign or administration has been charged with any wrongdoing. Obama said this morning that none of his staff has had a hand in any dealmaking on his Senate replacement.