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Anderson Cooper Bribery chicago CNN CNN interview CORRUPTION Illinois Intelwars Rod Blagojevich Trump clemency

WATCH: Anderson Cooper lambastes Rod Blagojevich in contentious interview, calls his excuses ‘bullsh*t’

CNN’s Anderson Cooper excoriated Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced former governor of Illinois who had his sentence commuted by President Donald Trump, in a contentious interview on Friday.

Blagojevich defended his statements that he was wrongly convicted, but Cooper dismantled him and ultimately proclaimed his excuses to be “bullsh*t.”

“What’s sad is that you actually hadn’t learned that when you mattered, when you actually were the governor, you talk about working for criminal justice reform, there’s a lot of people in Chicago, there’s a lot of people in Illinois, who actually like spit up when you say that,” said Cooper.

“Because when you were actually in power, and when you were actually governor, and you could have helped thousands of people with clemency cases, you blew it off!” he added, pointing out that he was sued for not even reviewing clemency requests during his tenure as governor.

“So it’s a little ironic, and frankly a little sad and pathetic and hypocritical, you talking about commuting,” continued Cooper. “But you ignored a whole hell of a lot of other people who were hoping you might give them clemency, when you actually mattered.”

Blagojevich responded that he didn’t know how corrupt the criminal system was until he was convicted, and then tried to make excuses about why he didn’t review those clemency requests.

“You do have an obligation to at least admit what you did wrong, and you refuse to do that, and you’re creating a whole new alternate universe of facts,” Cooper exclaimed.

“And that may be big in politics today but it’s still frankly just bullsh*t,” he concluded.

Cooper also rejected outright Blagojevich’s suggestion that they work on criminal justice reform together.

“I’d be happy to work with people on criminal justice reform, but I wouldn’t work with you!” said Cooper.

Critics of the president were incensed that he used his clemency power to help a friend of his who had appeared on “The Apprentice.”

Here’s the fiery Blagojevich interview:



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Bernard kirk Commute Edward debartolo jr. Intelwars Pardon Rod Blagojevich trump

President Trump grants clemency to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, ten others

President Donald Trump granted clemency to eleven people on Tuesday, issuing pardons to seven individuals and commuting the sentences of four others, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

What are the details?

Blagojevich, a Democrat, was impeached and removed from office in 2009 before being convicted on a slew of corruption charges including his attempt to sell the vacated Senate seat of former President Barack Obama after he won the White House in 2008. The former governor began serving a 14-year sentence in 2012.

“That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence, in my opinion,” President Trump told reporters of Blagojevich’s sentence on Tuesday. Fox News reported that the president expressed sympathy for the toll on the former governor’s family, saying Blagojevich’s time behind bars was “Very far from his children. They rarely get to see their father outside of an orange uniform. I saw that and I did commute his sentence.”

In addition to Blagojevich, President Trump commuted the sentences of non-violent offenders Tynice Nichole Hall, Judith Negron, and Crystal Munoz, who has been in prison for 12 years and still maintains her innocence after being linked to small role in a marijuana smuggling ring.

President Trump also issued several pardons on Tuesday, including former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was convicted for tax fraud and making false statements, as well as financier Michael Milken “who pleaded guilty to insider trading and was barred from the securities industry in 1989,” CBS News reported.

Another high-profile pardon went to former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., according to ABC News. The outlet reported that DeBartolo “pleaded guilty in 1998 to concealing an alleged extortion plot by former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, involving the licensing of a casino.”

In addition to Kerik and DeBartolo, the president also pardoned non-violent offenders Ariel Friedler, David Safavian, Angela Stanton, and Paul Pogue, a former construction company owner convicted of underpaying his taxes.

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