Rahm Emanuel, a former U.S. Representative from Chicago and President-elect Barack Obama’s chief of staff, dodged questions from reporters Thursday about whether he was the Obama “advisor” named in the criminal complaint against Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
According to the complaint, Blagojevich wanted a promise of a high-level appointment or some other reward in exchange for Blagojevich naming Obama’s friend Valerie Jarrett to replace him in the U.S. Senate.
Emanuel was absent from Obama’s news conference this morning. He was spotted two hours later in the lobby of Chicago’s City Hall, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. 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.
“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “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.
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 deal making on his Senate replacement.
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