Emanuel proud to call first lady a friend

January 9, 2012 3:19:49 AM PST
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has responded to claims in a new book that when he worked in the White House, his relations with the First Lady -- and sometimes the President -- could be strained.

In the book "The Obamas," New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor writes that the relationship between Mrs. Obama and Emanuel "was distant and awkward from the beginning".

Kantor says Emanuel offered his resignation to the President in early 2010 after Emanuel's view that overhauling health care was a bad idea surfaced in the media.

Obama advisor David Axelrod is quoted as saying that Emanuel "understood that the stories were an embarrassment."

"I know what I know and I know the truth and I'm very proud to have worked for the president and the first lady and Amy and I are very proud to call them friends," Emanuel said.

He said he hasn't read the book and refused to address specific claims of White House friction made in it.