Reporting with Lark Turner
Yesterday, Rod Blagojevich's jury heard the former governor describe Jesse Jackson Jr. as a "repugnant" option for the U.S. Senate.
Today, things have changed.
Prosecutors just played a recording where Blagojevich tells his chief of staff John Harris that Jackson is now at the top of his list.
Harris at times laughs in the conversation, pointing to the then-governor's flip-flopping.
Blagojevich gives him a reason:
"Well, he's come to me with, through third parties, you know with offers of campaign contributions and help...You know what I mean? 1.5 million. They've, they're throwin' numbers around."
Harris: "Well, I mean that's not the factor."
But Blagojevich steams ahead, saying that he has to consider Jackson if he's considering Lisa Madigan, the daughter of his political nemesis. And he says a Jackson pick will play well in the African American community.
"That, that, you know if that's the case then why should I beanything but f---in' strengthen, you know, my position with my base. I mean among blacks that, that'll be the best pick won't it?"
Noting that Blagojevich a week earlier yelled at Harris for suggesting Jackson as a candidate, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton asked Harris if anything had changed in that period.
"A specific amount of campaign contributions that were being ... offered to the governor," Harris said.
Hamilton: "In exchange for Congressman Jackson?"
Prosecutors contend that Blagojevich plotted to appoint Jackson the Senate seat for a $1.5 million campaign contribution. Jackson supporters had approached the Blagojevich camp with the offer. Jackson has denied wrongdoing.