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According to a weekend report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Mr. Reid called Mr. Blagojevich to discuss the seat Dec. 3 and discouraged him from appointing Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Rep. Danny K. Davis and retiring state Senate President Emil Jones, and encouraged the governor to pick state Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth and state Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

On NBC Sunday, Mr. Reid acknowledged that he talked with Mr. Blagojevich before his arrest, but dismissed the report as “part of Blagojevich’s cloud. He is making all this up.”