President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, delayed going to work at the Chicago presidential transition offices today because of the media that is camped outside his home. A spokesman for Emanuel says he later showed up at the office, apparently able to sneak out of the house without being seen by reporters waiting to ask him questions.
Emanuel told an ABC News cameraman, who was invited inside Emanuel's home to use the bathroom this morning, that he's been "getting regular death threats."
"You've put my home address on national television. I'm pissed at the networks. You've intruded too much," Emanuel said, according to the cameraman.
An aide for Emanuel said late Friday afternoon that Emanuel did not make any remarks about receiving death threats. "While we appreciate this cameraman's active imagination, this report is inaccurate," said Sarah Feinberg. Responding to Emanuel's comments, ABC News went back and double-checked with the cameraman and we stand by the story.
Reporters are seeking to ask him whether he had contact with Blagojevich about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama's election.
Emanuel has refused to comment as to whether he is the un-named presidential advisor cited in the FBI affidavit filed in the Blagojevich case. "You're wasting your time," Emanuel told a Chicago Sun-Times reporter yesterday. "I'm not going to say a word to you. I'm going to do this with my children. Don't do that. I'm a father. I have two kids. I'm not going to do it."
The Feds have put off questioning Jesse Jackson Jr., who federal authorities have identified as Senate Candidate 5. The congressman's scheduled interview with federal agents and prosecutors in the Illinois corruption scandal has been delayed because "they have a traffic jam of people," Jackson Jr. told ABCNews.com Friday morning. He also said his supporters were not authorized to talk to Blagojevich.
According to an FBI affidavit, Jackson Jr. was being considered by Blagojevich because the governor believed emissaries of Jackson Jr. had promised to raise $1.5 million in exchange for the Senate seat.
Rev. Jesse Jackson says he played no role and was not "an emissary" in alleged efforts to make a deal with Blagojevich for the appointment of his son, Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., to the U.S. Senate.
Speaking publicly for the first time, Rev. Jackson said he last met with the governor four months ago and was not the unnamed individual cited in the FBI affidavit who promised to raise up to $1million in exchange for the Senate seat.
"So, I am not an emissary. I am not targeted. And I have no accusers. That's simply not true," Jackson told ABCNews.com as he arrived in Washington Thursday for an event sponsored by Operation PUSH.
"This is strange and painful speculation," Rev. Jackson said. He said his son, the congressman, "is being tainted by the governor's speculation about his fundraising activities."
Rev. Jackson called on Blagojevich to resign and said he believed his son would emerge unscathed from the FBI investigation.
"Politics is a contact sport. Only those on the sidelines have clean uniforms," he said.
In the FBI affidavit, Blagojevich is heard on hidden microphones recounting alleged promises from "emissaries" for Rep. Jackson.