Anderson Cooper called Rod Blagojevich on his “bullshit” after the former Illinois governor, whose 14-year prison sentence was commuted by Donald Trump this week, compared himself to political prisoners like Nelson Mandela.
Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009 and convicted on multiple corruption charges amid accusations that he tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat.
Said Cooper when Blago compared himself to Mandela: The idea that you are comparing yourself to somebody that has actually been railroaded by an apartheid system is just nuts, and frankly offensive.”
Said Cooper: “It’s a little ironic and frankly a little sad and pathetic and hypocritical you talking about getting a commutation of a sentence, which is within the president’s right, but you ignored a whole hell of a lot of other people who were hoping you might give them clemency when you actually mattered.”
Replied Blago: “When you have all the time that I was given to think and look back on some of the things you might have done different, that’s certainly an area that you talked about that I wish I had done more on. There’s no question about that. That’s among my biggest regrets. I didn’t know how corrupt the criminal justice system was until they did it to me.”
Cooper handed him his ass at the end of the interview: “Look, I have no problem with you getting out. The president can commute whoever he wants. I just think — I wish — you’re besmirching prosecutors who actually are no longer in government, but prosecutors are important in our system and you are going after the very basis of our justice system, which has plenty of problems but, you know, part of the thing is you got out, 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 and that may be big in politics today but it’s still frankly just bullshit.”
The full interview: