Remember when Trump fired Blagojevich over Harry Potter?

  • A 2010 episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice" featured the professional wrestler known as Goldberg, from front left, Darryl Strawberry, Sinbad and Bret Michaels; and Curtis Stone, back left, Michael Johnson and Rod Blagojevich.

    A 2010 episode of "The Celebrity Apprentice" featured the professional wrestler known as Goldberg, from front left, Darryl Strawberry, Sinbad and Bret Michaels; and Curtis Stone, back left, Michael Johnson and Rod Blagojevich. NBC

  • Donald Trump on the set of his reality television series "The Apprentice" in 2005 in New York.

    Donald Trump on the set of his reality television series "The Apprentice" in 2005 in New York. NBC

 
Daily Herald staff report
Updated 8/8/2019 10:54 AM
Editor's note: This story originally was published on March 3, 2016.

Reports that President Donald Trump might commute former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's sentence reminded us of one of the first times the two men shared a stage.

As former Daily Herald reporter Mike Riopell wrote in 2016:

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"Millions watched in 2010 as Trump grew impatient in the board room on NBC's 'The Celebrity Apprentice.' A team reporting to him hadn't performed to his expectations. Trump appeared to have no reservations posing tough questions to the beneficiary of thousands of dollars of his campaign donations.

"He pointed his fingers to his chest.

"'I just want to ask this one question,' Trump said.

"'Your Harry Potter facts were not accurate,' he said. 'Who did the research?'

Blagojevich didn't have an acceptable answer.

"'But it's Slithering and it's Hufflepuff and it's Ravencloth ...' Blagojevich tried to explain later, making any serious fan of the books wince.

"He was fired from 'Celebrity Apprentice' shortly after. His team had lost the challenge.

"Republican Trump had given Democrat Blagojevich $7,000 in the previous decade and called it a 'tragedy' in 2011 when Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The former governor reported to prison in 2012.

He was convicted of corruption, including trying to sell an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat that former President Barack Obama had just vacated.

"I've got this thing, and it's (expletive) golden. I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing," Blagojevich was overheard saying on a wiretapped conversation.

"I would think that there have been many politicians -- I'm not one of them by the way -- but have said a lot worse over telephones," Trump told reporters Wednesday aboard Air Force One.

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