Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken his brash, often effective and sometimes controversial style to the Asian Pacific — where he has served as U.S. ambassador to Japan since 2021.
In May, Ambassador Emanuel along with other foreign envoys courted controversy when they put out a video on social media urging Japanese leaders to recognize LGBTQ+ rights. That video went viral and prompted pushback from the Japanese government.
Emanuel has not been shy about criticizing Japan’s superpower neighbor across the East China Sea — with harsh and snarky tweets directed toward Chinese President Xi Jinping. That has reportedly irked U.S. diplomatic leaders who have been trying to foster greater dialogue with one of America’s largest geopolitical foes.
Emanuel is also no stranger to the conflict between Israel and Hamas — having helped broker 1993 peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians under President Bill Clinton.
Emanuel’s visit home comes amid news of a ceasefire in Gaza, but rising anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim rhetoric in the United States and globally. The fence surrounding Emanuel’s Michigan holiday home was recently daubed with the word “Nazis.”
His visit home also comes as Democrats grow increasingly worried about their 2024 prospects and as former Ald. Ed Burke, Emanuel’s former foe-turned colleague, faces a federal criminal trial on 14 counts of alleged corruption.
Emanuel joins “Chicago Tonight” co-anchor Paris Schutz in conversation.