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Rahm Emanuel Gets Emotional on CNN About How Smollett ‘Used’ Chicago: He Put It ‘All At Risk for Himself’

Appearing on CNN Tonight on Thursday, Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel‘s voice filled with emotion as he spoke to host Don Lemon about the impact of Jussie Smollett‘s actions on his city.

Lemon started out playing a clip from the Chicago Police Department press conference on Thursday and asked the Mayor his feelings about the emotional delivery of Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

“The Chicago I know, as I said earlier today–across our city, in 77 different neighborhoods, there are people with signs on their front lawn, on their windows, that say ‘Hate has no home here.’ And to use Chicago in that way is not true to who we are as a city,” the Mayor began.

“I’m upset about what he said about the city and the way he used the city,” he said. He added that Smollett “literally put doubt” on not just the city, but on all those who face discrimination and speak out. “You have put all those real stories at risk for your fake story. That is not right.” His voice had already thickened emotionally.

He related the characteristics of the city and its diversity, and said “That is the city I know. That is the city that actually loves people because they love the city, they care about our common humanity.” Again, his voice was breaking emotionally.

“He put that all at risk for himself,” said Emanuel.

“I don’t normally see you get this emotional,” Lemon then said to him. “Why is that?”

“Well, because — look, I was — you know, my mother started her career and started us in politics working on racial equality in ChicagoM” said Emanuel. “I’m the son and grandson of an immigrant. I saw when Pittsburgh had a synagogue and people died. People of all faiths in my city came together. Muslims, Christian, and Jew, because an attack on one faith is an attack on all faith and all people of all faith. That is the Chicago I know.”

He directly and pointedly drove at the same indictment of Smollett’s motivation that both Tucker Carlson and his guest Piers Morgan made earlier on Fox News. “If you want to get paid more, get an agent. But don’t use your sexual orientation, don’t use your race, and have everybody’s sympathies come to you and it turns out none of that was true,” he said.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of MSNBC.

[Featured image via screengrab]

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