Dec. 12, 2008 -- The president-elect's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said today he wouldn't go to the Chicago presidential transition offices in order to avoid reporters trying to ask him whether he had contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama's election.
A spokesman for Emanuel said 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.
Meanwhile, late today a spokesperson for Emanuel confirmed in an email that an Associated Press story saying that he is not a target of the investigation is "accurate." Questions remain, however, over his contacts with Blagojevich and his staff, and Emanuel has still not said whether or not he's been contacted by the FBI for questioning.
Back at his home, Emanuel appeared "beet-red," according to an ABC News cameraman who was invited inside by Emanuel to use his bathroom this morning.
"I'm 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 camera man's active imagination, this report is inaccurate," said Sarah Feinberg. Responding to Emanuel's comments, ABC News went back and double-checked with the camera man and we stand by the story.
Emanuel has refused to comment as to whether he is the un-named presidential adviser 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."
Asked, "Can't you do both?" Emanuel replied, "I'm not as capable as you. I'm going to be a father. I'm allowed to be a father," and he pushed the reporter's digital recorder away, according to the Sun Times account.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says there is "nothing in the complaint" that implicates President-elect Obama but the affidavit suggests someone from the Obama camp was in touch with Blagojevich or his aides, if only to tell the Governor that Obama would not offer anything but "appreciation" in exchange for the Senate appointment.
The president-elect said Thursday he would gather and make public a list of any aides or advisers who talked with Blagojevich on his behalf.
Emanuel has not yet resigned his seat in Congress, the seat previously held by Blagojevich.