Obama News Conference Dominated By Illinois Case

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From Jack Healy at The NYTimes.com:

President-elect Barack Obama said on Thursday that he never spoke to the governor of Illinois about Mr. Obama’s replacement in the United States Senate, and that no one on his staff had been involved in any deal-making regarding Mr. Obama’s successor.

“That would be a violation of everything that this campaign has been about,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference in Chicago which was called to announce an appointment to his Cabinet.

In his first extended comments on the unfolding political scandal, Mr. Obama said he was “appalled and disappointed” by the details of a complaint filed by federal prosecutors, who have accused the governor, Rod R. Blagojevich, of trying to profit from his power to choose Mr. Obama’s successor. Mr. Obama also restated his call for the governor to resign.

“I think the public trust has been violated,” Mr. Obama said. “I hope that the governor comes to the conclusion that he can no longer effectively serve and that he does resign.”

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