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Chicago police union head meets with ‘upbeat’ Trump at White House

The FOP president got an impromptu sit-down with the president earlier this month.

Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham and a cadre of eight FOP chiefs from the nation’s largest cities were suddenly invited by President Donald Trump to the White House to attend a confab on crime and police safety Dec. 6.
Provided photo

The Trump stump . . .

Great timing?

President Donald Trump is no chump on the political stump.

But neither is Kevin Graham, union president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, who was the only city honcho to greet Trump when he made his first official presidential trip to Chicago in October.

  • Backshot: That’s when Mayor Lori Lightfoot chose to snub Trump when he arrived on Air Force One at O’Hare Airport en route to address an International Association of Chiefs of Police conference on Oct. 28 at McCormick Place.
  • Upshot: Graham and Lightfoot are now at loggerheads after the FOP’s latest contract proposal included an 18% pay increase over the next three years. (Sneed is told the union is expected to choose an arbitrator next week.)

So it should come as no surprise that Graham and a cadre of eight FOP chiefs from the nation’s largest cities were suddenly invited by Trump to the White House weeks later to attend a confab on crime and police safety Dec. 6.

Trump’s was so impressed with Graham during his Chicago visit he tweeted: “Thank you to Kevin Graham and all of the GREAT Chicago police officers I just had the privilege to meet.”

“I was fortunate enough to greet him [Trump] at the airport and then a few weeks later to be invited to the White House for a special meeting,” said Graham.

“He recognized me from the meet-and-greet at O’Hare, gave me a slap on the back, autographed a copy of our FOP magazine featuring him on the cover, and I had the honor of being seated next to him when we all met with him in the Cabinet room.

“And despite an impeachment looming, President Trump was very upbeat,” said Graham.

“He was in an excellent mood,” added Graham, who, along with the group, “asked how he was doing.”

The president’s response, according to Graham, was upbeat. “The president told us: ‘Despite the fact the Democrats want to impeach me? Well, other than that I think I’m doing pretty well.’

“The president also wanted a copy of the magazine,” said Graham, who credited national FOP chairman Pat Yoes with pulling together the last-minute meeting.

Hmmm.

Is Graham planning to run for re-election?

“There is speculation I’m going to run … but no comment.”

Hmmm.

A two-hour stint in the White House, which included being seated next to the president in the Cabinet room to discuss crime and a sit-down in the Oval Office, is not chump change in the abacus of politics.

“The president understands us and we need his help when it comes to police safety and getting prosecutors to prosecute,” said Graham, “Prosecutors aren’t doing their job putting criminals behind bars,” he added.

“Criminals are going back on the street to committing crimes days after being arrested for the same crime because the state’s attorneys aren’t prosecuting and doing their job,” said Graham, who noted Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office.

“I thanked the president for enlarging Chicago’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office by bringing in more federal prosecutors,” added Graham.

“He was truly a gentleman — funny, gregarious.

“And at one point while talking about crime and what could be done to keep police safe, the president had to abruptly leave for an emergency meeting about a Naval base.

“But he made sure we had something to eat while we waited,” chuckled Graham.

Dare Sneed ask what was served?

“Candy bars were brought in,” chuckled Graham.

“Hershey’s chocolate bars,” he added.

Plain or with almonds?

“Plain,” said Graham.

“But personally, the ones with almonds are my favorite,” he added.

Ah, levity.

Over and out.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: DJ Steve Aoki spotted at Foodlife last weekend. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Tori Kelly, 27; Offset, 28 and Vanessa Hudgens, 31. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Camilla Luddington, 36; Adam Brody, 40 and Don Johnson, 70.