BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings is alleging that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel physically assaulted him during a contentious exchange.
Emanuel, former White House chief of staff to President Obama, is known for his hardball tactics. On Thursday's "Young Turks," however, Hastings alleged that Emanuel "crossed the line" when he "grabbed" him during an interview.
Host Cenk Uygur replayed an audio clip of the exchange. Emanuel reacted fiercely when Hastings said "we'll see" about Obama's re-election, and warned Hastings, "I’m not going to let you do to me what you did to Stanley McChrystal." The interview took place after Hastings' 2010 Rolling Stone profile of McCrystal, which led to the general's resignation.
"I never experienced anything like this in my career from an American public official,” Hastings said about the confrontation on Thursday. “He grabbed me — right before that exchange, he grabbed me by the arm and wouldn’t let go while his bodyguards approached me, clearly trying to intimidate me with a threat of physical violence. And look, it was abusive. I don’t mind being yelled at, like verbally abusive, fine. But I think the mayor — and I made this point in an email later to his staff, clearly crossed the line by grabbing me."
The reporter also described the exchange in his new book, according to The Daily Caller. "What I saw in his eyes — he did not look like a gentleman who was in full of control of what he was doing," Hastings wrote, adding that he was "shocked" at Emanuel's behavior.
He told Uygur that he did consider filing charges, but that he didn't want to get "bogged down" and that the lawsuit would have been filed in Chicago.
CORRECTION: The interview took place in 2012, not 2010 as originally stated in the article.
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