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Emanuel Says He Has Fine Relationship With Mrs. Obama

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the city has saved $1 million by launching competitive bidding for recycling. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel is dismissing the assertions in a new book that he had a strained relationship with First Lady Michelle Obama when he was White House Chief of Staff.

As WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, the mayor points out the first lady recently came to town to spend the day with him, talking about eradicating so-called food deserts where poor people find it hard to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“I have a very good relationship with the president and the first lady,” Emanuel said. Amy and I just a couple a weeks ago were at the White House – at the residence – at a private party with them. I talked to the president on Saturday.”

The claims of a rocky relationship between Emanuel and Mrs. Obama stem from a new book about the first family. Due out later Tuesday, New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor’s book The Obamas claimed that the First Lady was often in conflict with presidential advisers, including Emanuel.

The book also said Emanuel was on unhappy pursuing President Barack Obama’s health care plan and offered to resign, but the president said no, according to an Associated Press report published by CBS News. Emanuel is presented in the book as frequently letting loose with “profane outbursts on staff members,” the report said.

But the mayor says now that the books he cares about are the ones used by Chicago schoolchildren.

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