Former Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich declared himself a “Trumpocrat” after President Trump commuted his federal prison sentence.
“He’s got obviously a big fan in me,” Rod Blagojevich told reporters at Denver International Airport. “And if you’re asking me what my party affiliation is, I’m a Trumpocrat,” according to NBC News.
Blagojevich was freed from a Colorado prison earlier Tuesday after serving eight years of a 14-year sentence stemming from his conviction on corruption charges.
He was convicted in 2011 for dishing out political favors in exchange for financial benefits, including trying to solicit campaign money in return for an appointment to former President Obama’s vacant Senate seat.
Walking through the airport as a free man Tuesday night, Blagojevich said, “President Trump is the one who did this, and I’m … profoundly grateful,” NBC News reported.
“He didn’t have to do this. He’s a Republican president; I was a Democratic governor,” Blagojevich said.
“My fellow Democrats have not been very kind to him. … In fact, they’ve been very unkind to him.”
Blagojevich, a one-time contestant on Trump’s former reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” said he learned a lot from his time in prison.
He called the criminal justice system “broken,” “unfair” and “racist.”
Blagojevich added that he intends to hold a press conference on Wednesday.
Trump addressed reporters earlier Tuesday about his decision to free Blagojevich, calling his sentence “ridiculous.”
“So he’ll be able to go back home with his family after serving eight years in jail,” Trump told reporters. “That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others.”