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Blago Calls Jackson Testimony 'Baloney'

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The former governor says Mayor Emanuel's testimony was "to the point" and accurate but says Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s extortion allegation is "absurd."

Rod Blagojevich had a couple of thoughts about Jesse Jackson Jr.'s testimony Wednesday morning.

"What a bunch of baloney," Blagojevich said of Jackson's assertion they hadn't spoken in four years from 2004 until their meeting in December of 2008.

"Remember that biggest hug fest at the Democratic convention" in Denver in August of 2008? "When (Jesse) was crying and asking me to come up and hug Madigan?" Blagojevich told NBC Chicago during a brief court recess. "What a bunch of baloney!"

On the witness stand, Jackson denied that he offered fundraising for Barack Obama's Senate seat, which Blagojevich is accused of selling.

"Did you ever tell anyone you would raise campaign contributions if you were appointed to the Senate seat?" the defense asked.

"Absolutely not!" he said. "I never directed people to raise money for another politician, other than myself, ever."

The defense finished its questioning after just 12 minutes.

On redirect, Jackson said that in 2002 he was asked by Bill Lipinski to contribute $25,000 to Blagojevich's campaign for the governor. Jackson testified that he told him, "No chance."

During a meeting in Washington D.C., Jackson said he asked Blagojevich about a possible job in government administration for his wife, Sandi. She did not get it.

Jackson also said that in a second meeting, he saw Blagojevich again. As the governor was walking out, he addressed Jackson. 

"In classic Elvis Presley style, he snapped both fingers, looked back at me and said, 'Should have given me that $25,000,'" Jackson testified.

After his testimony, Jackson released a statement through his attorney.

"As you can imagine, I have many strong feelings about this entire matter. My strongest feeling, however, is respect for our judicial system. Therefore, I will have no further comment about the case or how it has affected me until there is a verdict."

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