Emanuel 'Pretty Confident' He Still Has Support of Hillary Clinton

December 2, 2015

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he is "pretty confident" he still has the support of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, even as he faces charges from civil rights activists of complicity in a police cover-up of the killing of black teenager Laquan McDonald.

Asked at the Politico Playbook breakfast whether he still had Clinton's support, the former chief of staff to Barack Obama said reporters would have to ask her to be sure.

"I don't know, you'd have to ask her that question," Emanuel said. "I still support her, and that question of whether I continue to have her support is up to her, but I feel pretty confident I do."

Emanuel, who worked under President Bill Clinton as well, said he probably last spoke to Clinton two to three weeks ago. Since that time, Emanuel's City Hall has come under intense scrutiny as videotape from October 2014 showed Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting McDonald, a robbery suspect, 16 times and killing him.

Critics have alleged that Emanuel deliberately kept the video from coming to public light for fear of losing his reelection bid, which he won in a runoff in April. Gun violence has spiked in Chicago under Emanuel's tenure and is a key subject of debate in the city's politics.

The police initially painted a picture of McDonald lunging at police, but the video, forced to be released by a judge, tells a far different story. Van Dyke has been indicted on murder charges.

Emanuel announced Tuesday he had asked for the resignation of police superintendent Garry McCarthy:

"Superintendent McCarthy knows that a police officer is only as effective as when he has the trust of those he serves," said Emanuel, speaking at City Hall.

McCarthy was not at the news conference. But the mayor's office told CNN the superintendent had, in fact, resigned.

The mayor went on to describe a new task force on law enforcement accountability that will review how the city trains and oversees its police officers. It will include five Chicagoans who have been leaders in the justice system. Chicago native and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will be a senior adviser to the group, Emanuel said.

At the same press conference he announced McCarthy's dismissal, Emanuel ignored numerous questions about whether he would resign as well.