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Rahm's 'Unsolicited' Advice To Trump: Focus On Issues That Matter

By Josh McGhee | January 23, 2017 5:59pm
 Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave some unsolicited advice to President Donald Trump at a ribbon cutting event in Uptown Monday afternoon.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave some unsolicited advice to President Donald Trump at a ribbon cutting event in Uptown Monday afternoon.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — He may not have asked for it, but President Donald Trump is getting some advice from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. 

During an event on the North Side Monday, Emanuel was asked about Trump's continued use of Chicago as an example of a troubled American city. The mayor pivoted, instead taking some time to weigh in on how Trump spent his first few days in office. 

"This is unsolicited advice," Emanuel admitted. "But you didn’t get elected to debate the crowd size of your inaugural. Obviously, I wasn’t a supporter of then-candidate Trump, he got elected to make sure that people have a job, the economy continues to grow, people have security as it relates to their kids education. ... And it wasn’t about your crowd size. It was about their lives and their jobs."

Emanuel was referring to Trump's speech to intelligence officials Saturday, where he complained about how the media portrayed the inauguration turnout. Later, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed supporters who came out for Trump on Friday made up the "largest audience to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe." Spicer sort of walked back those false claims Monday, but continued to claim record television viewership, which is also false. 

Emanuel, who often brings up the fact that he worked for two presidents (Obama and Clinton), said that Trump needs to focus now on issues being discussed "at the kitchen table." 

"[People are] talking about jobs, education, healthcare, security," Emanuel said. "I would not be off arguing about something like [inauguration attendance], I would focus on what was the premise of the campaign."

The mayor went on to criticize Trump's aggressive inaugural address, saying he missed an opportunity to "speak to our better angles as a country."

Trump criticized Chicago, particularly its crime rate, multiple times throughout his campaign. He also was greeted by throngs of protesters every time he attempted to come to the city.

When Emanuel met with Trump in December, the mayor said he urged Trump to drop his plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Ending DACA could lead to the deportation of 750,000 undocumented young people who came to America as children.