President Donald Trump said Friday he privately urged Mayor Emanuel to talk to a Chicago police official. It's the same cop the president quoted last year who claimed police could reduce Chicago's deadly violence in a "couple of days," if they were given "the authority."
A spokesman for the mayor now says President Trump never sent the officer's name.
It sparked an uproar last august when the president said a top Chicago police official told him violence is soaring because weak-kneed politicians hamstring cops. Now, President Trump's repeated the story to police in New York, still not naming the Chicagoan, but adding a few more details.
“He was a rough cookie and really a respected guy. I could see he was respected,” Trump said. “I said, ‘how long would it take you to straighten out this problem?’ He said, ‘if you gave me the authority, a couple of days. I really mean it!’ I said, ‘you really think so?’ He said, ‘couple a days. We know all the bad ones. We know 'em all.’”
City officials insisted last summer the department's top brass all denied having such a conversation with then-candidate Trump. The president now says he told Mayor Emanuel all about it.
“Now, this is a year and a half ago. I said, ‘give me your card!’ and he gave me a card. And I sent it to the mayor. I said, ‘you ought to try using this guy!’ Guess what happened? Never heard! And last week they had another record. It’s horrible. But we're just getting started. We will restore law and order.”
A spokesman for the mayor denied Trump gave him either the name or business card of the mysterious police official. A few moments after discussing Chicago violence, the president urged police to treat suspected gang members harshly.
“You just see 'em thrown in, rough! I said, ‘please don't be too nice!’" Trump said.
Chicago police say they disagree with President Trump's approach. They believe building trust with residents of high-crime neighborhoods will eventually lead to less violence.