Fox's Crowley invents Obama statements to claim "conflict" with Blagojevich motion

››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

Monica Crowley falsely suggested that a motion filed by former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich contradicted what she claimed were Obama's statements that "none of his representatives" were involved with efforts to fill the Senate seat Obama vacated. But Obama never made such a statement; he acknowledged contacts between his staff and Blagojevich's office while stating that his staff "had no involvement" in Blagojevich's alleged efforts to sell the Senate seat.

From the April 22 edition of Fox News' America Live:

CROWLEY: So on the one hand, you had President Obama saying repeatedly and publicly that he had nothing to do, and none of his representatives had anything to do with filling the Senate seat that was vacated by his election --

MEGYN KELLY: (host): His old Senate seat.

CROWLEY: Yes, by his election to the presidency. He has repeatedly said that in public. However, now, according to these redacted portions of this subpoena, it looks like possibly that he may have a conflict there in terms of a statement.

Obama never said "none of his representatives" were involved in filling seat

Obama said that he had no personal discussions with Blagojevich about seat, office had no involvement in "deal-making." Obama repeatedly stated following Blagojevich's arrest that he had not personally spoken with Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. But contrary to Crowley's comments, he also acknowledged in a December 11, 2008, press conference that he was gathering information about contacts between his office and Blagojevich's, though he stated that "what I'm absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat."

Obama transition report: Emanuel had contacts with Blagojevich and his staff about Senate seat. On December 23, 2008, Obama's transition team released a report detailing the extent of contacts between transition staff and the Blagojevich administration regarding the Senate seat. The report noted that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel discussed potential candidates for the Senate seat with Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris. The report indicates that Obama did not speak directly with Blagojevich or his staff, but discussed "qualified candidates" with Emanuel and White House senior advisor David Axelrod with the understanding that Emanuel "would relay these names to the Governor's office." According to the report, neither Emanuel not any other member of the transition staff had discussions regarding a "deal" with Blagojevich in which "he would receive a personal benefit in return for any specific appointment to fill the vacancy."

Motion does not claim Obama spoke to Blagojevich or his staff about appointment

Blagojevich motion indicates contact between Emanuel and Blagojevich chief of staff about seat, not between Blagojevich's office and Obama. Blagojevich has been indicted on 24 counts including racketeering, attempted extortion, bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit extortion, some of which deal with what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fizgerald called Blagojevich's attempt "to sell the appointment to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Obama." On April 22, Blagojevich filed a motion seeking to subpoena Obama. Redacted portions of the motion stated: "On December 8, 2008, John Harris' secretary's call log noted President's Chief of Staff called at 10:47 am and wrote 'needs to talk to you asap' (Harris 302, February 20, 2009)." The motion does not allege direct conversations between Obama and Blagojevich or his staff on the topic of the Senate seat.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Monica Crowley
Show/Publication
America Live
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