President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE on Wednesday said he's "very strongly" considering commuting the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), who is serving 14 years on federal corruption charges.
“I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly," the president told reporters on Air Force One en route to Washington, D.C., after visiting the sites of recent mass shootings.
“His wife I think is fantastic and I’m thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly," Trump added. "I think it’s enough, seven years.”
Trump tweeted Thursday evening that he was considering the matter.
"He has served 7 years. Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one," Trump tweeted. "White House staff is continuing the review of this matter."
Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He has served 7 years. Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one. White House staff is continuing the review of this matter.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009 and was later convicted of a wide array of corruption charges, including trying to sell Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTop nuclear policy appointee removed from Pentagon post: report Prosecutors face legal challenges over obstruction charge in Capitol riot cases Biden makes early gains eroding Trump's environmental legacy MORE’s Senate seat after he was elected president in 2008. The former governor began serving a 14-year prison sentence in 2012.
"I've got this thing, and it's f------ golden. I'm just not giving it up for f------ nothing," Blagojevich said of Obama's Senate seat in a recorded phone call.
Trump on Wednesday downplayed Blagojevich's conduct on the call, chalking it up to "braggadocio."
“He’s been in jail for seven years over a phone call where nothing happens — over a phone call which he shouldn’t have said what he said, but it was braggadocio you would say," Trump said. "I would think that there have been many politicians — I’m not one of them by the way — that have said a lot worse over the telephone.”
Trump suggested that a group associated with FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE — a frequent target of criticism for the president — was involved in the case to convict Blagojevich. Comey was working in the private sector at the time of the arrest.
The president floated a commutation for Blagojevich last year, but has yet to take action. The two men knew each previously from when the former governor appeared on "Celebrity Apprentice."
Numerous Illinois political figures have in recent years voiced support for commuting Blagojevich's sentence, including Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinSchumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Democrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook MORE (D) and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Updated at 9:50 a.m.