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Obama staff: No "inappropriate" ties with governor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama had no contact with scandal-hit Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his advisers did not have “inappropriate” discussions with the governor’s staff about filling Obama’s vacant Senate seat, Obama’s office said on Monday.

An Obama spokesman said in a statement that the president-elect’s aides, who had earlier promised to release a full review of any contacts with Blagojevich’s team within days, would now release their report next week to comply with a request from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Dan Pfeiffer, communications director for Obama’s White House transition office, said a review of the team’s contact with the Illinois governor had been conducted.

“That review affirmed the public statements of the president-elect that he had no contact with the governor or his staff, and that the president-elect’s staff was not involved in inappropriate discussions with the governor or his staff over the selection of his successor as U.S. senator,” Pfeiffer said.

He said the U.S. Attorney’s office had asked that the public release of the review’s results be postponed so as not to impede an investigation of the governor.

“The transition has agreed to this revised timetable for release,” Pfeiffer said in the statement.

Democrat Obama has come under fire from some Republicans for not spelling out his ties to Blagojevich.

Federal prosecutors arrested Blagojevich last week and charged him with attempting to trade the Senate seat and political favors for cash and jobs.

Reporting by Jeff Mason, Editing by David Wiessler

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