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Rauner (Finally) Talks About, And To, Trump

Trump and Rauner
Trump by Michael Vadon / Flickr, Rauner by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

He's a Republican. But Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner avoided talking about Donald Trump throughout the presidential campaign, but he opened up some Wednesday.

Rauner still didn't actually say Trump's name; he left it at "President-Elect" and "new administration." But Rauner did volunteer that he and Trump spoke by phone last Friday.

"I've had some good conversations with the new administration in Washington. 'Cause I want to try to figure out if we can work well together. 'Cause I want Illinois to benefit from the changes that are going to come in D.C. There's going to be big changes coming," Rauner said. "We're going to have a voice and a good relationship."

The governor went on to say that he's good friends with two of Trump's "senior folks." Rauner's office refused to say who. Rauner says he believes Trump's administration will bring jobs back to America. Rauner says he's on board with that, but unless Democrats get on board with his controversial agenda, he says Illinois isn't in a position to take advantage of the manufacturing growth Trump has promised he'll usher in.

Rauner and Trump have a lot in common: they're both businessmen-turned-politicians who won voters with promises of change, and that their wealth would keep them independent of special interests.

The governor says it was the first ever time he'd spoken to Trump.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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