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Obama Is 'Appalled,' Insists He Had No Contact With Blagojevich Over Senate Seat

Obama on Blago

President-elect Barack Obama, saying he "was as appalled and disappointed as anybody by the revelations earlier this week," denied any involvement Thursday in the "pay-to-play" schemes that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly crafted to sell his vacant Senate seat.

Obama, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing, tried to leave no question at a press conference in Chicago that he and his staff are in the clear as the federal investigation presses forward. 

"I have never spoken with the governor on this subject. I am confident that no representative of mine would have any part in any deals related to this seat," Obama said.

He said he has asked his team to compile any information they might have about any contact with the Illinois governor's office regarding his Senate seat, so that he can share that information with the public. But he said he is "absolutely certain" his aides were not involved in any alleged dealmaking. 

"This Senate seat does not belong to any politician to trade," Obama said, calling on Blagojevich to resign. He assured the public that he believes his Senate seat will be filled in an "appropriate way." 

Blagojevich has ignored calls for his resignation and retains the power to appoint Obama's replacement. 

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino also said Thursday that President Bush "believes that it's a very serious situation" and that "the charges are astounding." 

Perino said she had not spoken to Bush about whether he thinks Blagojevich should resign. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.