ABC NEW’S SUNLEN MILLER REPORTS:
President-elect Barack Obama clearly wanted to move beyond Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich at today’s press conference at the Drake hotel in Chicago. During opening remarks, the president-elect did not mention the results of his interview investigation, preferring instead to stick to the purpose of today’s press conference: the announcement of posts within his energy and environmental team.
Obama took three questions — only one of which was related to Blagojevich — and was asked about the Chicago Tribune’s reporting this weekend that his incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, had discussions with the governor’s staff.
Obama answered by repeating the mantra that he started last Thursday, “I had no contact with the governor’s office, and I had no contact with anybody in the governor’s office. And what I indicated last week is that there was nothing that my office did that was in any way inappropriate or related to the charges that have been brought.”
Obama said that the review done by his Transition Team backed up his statement and he promised more details soon.
“There is nothing in the review that was presented to me that in any way contradicted my earlier statements that this appalling set of circumstances that we’ve seen arise had nothing to do with my office and that, you know, those facts will be forthcoming to all of you in due course.”
The president-elect called his Transition Team’s internal review, “thorough and comprehensive,” and explained that the U.S. attorney’s office had asked to hold off releasing the detailed results of their investigation for a week for the public.
“I would ask for your patience, because I do not want to interfere with an ongoing investigation,” he added.
– Sunlen Miller