Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he had commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor and “Apprentice” contestant who is serving a 14-year sentence for corruption.
“He served eight years in jail,” Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One. “A long time.”
He added that he did not “know [Blagojevich] very well” but had met him on The Apprentice years ago. He said Blagojevich “seemed like a very nice person.”
“He served eight years in jail, that’s a long time to go,” Trump reiterated. “Many people disagree with the sentence. He’s a Democrat, he’s not a Republican.”
He then noted that Blagojevich was prosecuted by former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired in 2017, triggering the nearly two-year-long Russia probe, as well as others.
Blagojevich, Trump added, “has been very far from his children.”
“They’re growing older, they’re going to high school now, they rarely get to see their father outside of an orange uniform,” he said. “I saw that, and I did commute his sentence. So he’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail. That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence in my opinion.”