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Trump: Chicago should ask for crime help; Rahm did last month

SHARE Trump: Chicago should ask for crime help; Rahm did last month
SHARE Trump: Chicago should ask for crime help; Rahm did last month

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump, turning to Chicago’s crime surge on Monday via Twitter, said that Mayor Rahm Emanuel should ask for “federal help.” The reality: Emanuel already asked Trump for assistance — when they met in New York last month.

“Chicago murder rate is record setting — 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016. If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for Federal help!” Trump said in a tweet.

Trump did not offer what type of federal help he has in mind — or what he is prepared to do as president to help the city where he owns a major downtown hotel. The 762 figure is the Chicago Police Department count.

The irony is that Emanuel already discussed federal assistance with Trump when he met with him at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Dec. 7.

Emanuel not only urged Trump not to deport the children of illegal immigrants, he made apitch when they talked for federal assistance to boostpolice hiring and youth mentoring programs that he hopes will stop a 50 percent surge in homicides and shootings.

Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins, asked to react to Trump’s tweet, said, “As the president-elect knows from his conversation with the mayor, we agree the federal government has a strong role to play in public safety by funding summer jobs and prevention programming for at-risk youth, by holding the criminals who break our gun laws accountable for their crimes, by passing meaningful gun laws, and by building on the partnerships our police have with federal law enforcement.

“We are heartened he is taking this issue seriously and look forward to working with the new administration on these important efforts,” Collins said.

A Chicago Sun-Times investigation published last October provides an example of specific federal help from Trump that could assist Chicago’s crime-fighting efforts: “For all the promises from federal authorities to do all they can to help Chicago fight gun violence, their prosecutions of gun crimes here have remained stagnant, the Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.”

It is not known what sparked Trump’s tweet. On Sunday night, CBS’ “60 Minutes” show featured a segment on the crime crisis in Chicago as the city’s woes have been national news.

The Monday tweet is the latest remark from Trump on Chicago crime. Trump has focused on Chicago perhaps because the city is the adopted hometown of President Barack Obama. Emanuel was Obama’s first chief of staff.

The federal government at present is probing police practices in Chicago. In December 2015, Attorney General Loretta Lynch launched a Civil Rights Division investigation of the Chicago Police Department in the wake of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a police officer. There is a race against time — the Jan. 20 inauguration looms — for the Justice Department and the city to reach some kind of an agreement before Obama leaves office.

In late August, Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that violence in Chicago would stop “in a week” with “tough police tactics” with the solution in reach if only police were given “the authority to do it.”

Trump said on O’Reilly’s show that his source for this information was an unnamed “top” Chicago police officer.

The Chicago Police Department denied that Trump met with a top cop.

In the days before a presidential debate, Trump was ramping up his call to use controversial and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk practices in order to reduce crime, making the suggestion in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

Later, Trump said he was only talking about Chicago.

“I was really referring to Chicago with stop and frisk,” he told “Fox and Friends” during a phone interview. “They asked me about Chicago and I was talking about stop and frisk for Chicago.”

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