Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich arrives home in Chicago from prison after his sentence was commuted by President Trump on Tuesday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich thanked President Trump from Denver International Airport Tuesday before catching a flight back to Chicago following his release from prison — hours after Trump commuted his 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption.

What he's saying: "I'm profoundly grateful to President Trump and it's a profound and everlasting gratitude," said the former contestant on Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice," who was eight years into his sentence for crimes including seeking to sell an appointment to former President Obama's old Senate seat, to WGN-TV. "He didn't have to do this, he's a Republican president and I was a Democratic governor."

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Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.
2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.

Justice Department sues Google over alleged search monopoly

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Justice Department and 11 states Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of using anticompetitive tactics to illegally monopolize the online search and search advertising markets.

Why it matters: The long-awaited suit is Washington's first major blow against the tech giants that many on both the right and left argue have grown too large and powerful. Still, this is just step one in what could be a lengthy and messy court battle.