Rod Blagojevich speaks at Denver airport prior to flight home to Chicago

Politics

DENVER (WGN) — Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was released from a Colorado prison Tuesday hours after President Donald Trump announced he commuted Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence.

In a WGN News exclusive, reporter Julie Unruh spoke with Blagojevich as he arrived to the Denver airport to catch his flight home to Chicago.

Blagojevich thanked supporters on the tram.

“It means a lot to me, thank you, appreciate you guy, Blagojevich said. Have a safe trip.”

Blagojevich expressed gratitude to President Trump.

“It’s been a long time. I’m profoundly grateful to President Trump and it’s a profound and everlasting gratitude,” Blagojevich said. “He didn’t have to do this, he’s a Republican president and I was a Democratic governor. I’ll have a lot more to say tomorrow.”

Blagojevich is expected back in Chicago later Tuesday night.

A news conference has been set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the family’s home, according to Blagojevich’s wife Patti.

Earlier Trump told reporters the former governor’s sentence was “ridiculous.”

Blagojevich was convicted of political corruption just months after he appeared on Trump’s reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” The former governor is expected to walk out of prison later Tuesday, according to a person close to him, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had not seen any signed paperwork.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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