Donald Trump tweets about Chicago homicides

President-elect Donald Trump takes a question from a member of the media at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Trump on Thursday abruptly called for the United States to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” until the rest of the world “comes to its senses” regarding nuclear weapons. Trump made the statement on Twitter and did not expand on either the actions he wants the U.S. to take or the issues he sees around the world. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP)—President-elect Donald Trump says Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor and President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, should ask for federal assistance if he can’t bring down the city’s rising homicide tally.

The nation’s third largest city had 762 homicides in 2016 — the most in two decades and more than the largest cities, New York and Los Angeles, combined. The Chicago Police Department says the city had 1,100 more shootings last year than in 2015. The statistics have put Chicago at the center of a national dialogue about gun violence.

Trump on Monday noted the spike in shooting deaths on Twitter. He wrote, “If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for federal help!”

Emanuel’s spokesman Adam Collins responded with a carefully worded statement in which he says if the federal government really wants to help it can do things like fund summer jobs programs for at-risk youth and pass meaningful gun laws.

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