Rahm Emanuel confirmed President Biden’s ambassador to Japan

Rahm Emanuel confirmed President Biden's ambassador to Japan

Rahm Emanuel, one of President Biden’s most controversial nominees, won confirmation as ambassador to Japan on Saturday — with a little help from the GOP.

Eight moderate Republican senators voted in favor of the former Chicago mayor in a 48-21 roll-call vote during a marathon session that saw the confirmation of more than 50 other ambassadors, judges and administration officials as legislators trickled out of town for the holidays.

But three left-wing Democrats — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Jeff Merkley of Oregon — opposed Emanuel due to his record on police brutality.

In 2014, then-mayor Emanuel refused to release damning dashboard camera footage of a Chicago police officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in a case that helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Progressives railed against Emanuel’s August nomination.

“This nomination is deeply shameful,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the time. “As mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel helped cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opposed Rahm Emanuel's nomination and called his confirmation "deeply shameful."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opposed Rahm Emanuel’s nomination.
AP Photo

Emanuel, a longtime confidant of President Barack Obama who served as his White House chief of staff, had reportedly been Biden’s first choice as Secretary of Transportation — before Democrat opposition scotched that plan.

“I’m humbled and appreciative of President Biden’s confidence he has placed in me and grateful for the Senate’s bipartisan support,” Emanuel tweeted Saturday.

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