Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to Twitter Sunday to address unverified rumors that she planned to resign from office, calling the speculation “homophobic,” “racist,” and “misogynistic.”
Rumors of Lightfoot’s possible resignation began swirling on Saturday, with social media first speculating that Lightfoot could leave office over concerns that the city of Chicago stalled on releasing bodycam footage of a police-involved shooting that left 13-year-old Adam Toledo dead. Then, Sunday morning, Twitter began to buzz with whispers of a “domestic disturbance” involving Lightfoot and her wife and daughter. That rumor, though, had serious errors mistaking the location and size of Lightfoot’s home.
Fueling the rumors, “a now-deleted tweet sent by Ja’Mal Green, an activist and former mayoral candidate who continues to call for her resignation,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Lori Lightfoot is resigning tomorrow in a stunning end to her mayorship,” Green said on social media.
Neither the Sun-Times nor other Chicago news outlets could verify the rumor, and it was not clear where Green got his information, or whether he simply fabricated the claim.
Lightfoot, however, addressed the rumors almost immediately, taking to Twitter herself and blasting the rumors, calling them homophobic, racist, and misogynistic, and calling the speculation bout her resignation counterproductive.
“Good morning from my mansion in Sauganash. Seriously, though—our city doesn’t have any time for homophobic, racist, and misogynistic rumors, today or any day,” she said, noting the error in location for the “domestic disturbance” gossip. “It’s shocking and disappointing to see some media members and verified Twitter handles are peddling this trash as truth.”
“If people hadn’t noticed, we have major challenges in Chicago we need to address TOGETHER,” Lightfoot continued. “This nonsense that some apparently have the luxury of indulging in has not fed one person, stopped the pandemic, housed anyone living on the street or saved one young person.”
‘Anyone who wants to work with me to make progress, I’m ready. Even if we don’t always see eye to eye, if you actually love this city and want to be part of making it better, let’s do the work. The rest of you, get out of the way,” she concluded. “I will continue to lead a group of the willing all across our city who are about doing the people’s work. The people of Chicago elected me mayor, and I will continue to serve today, tomorrow and into the future. Back to work.”
She came back later to reiterate that she did not move into a “fantasy castle” in Sauganash, a neighborhood on the city’s far northwest side.
For his part, Green claims his tweet was “was taken out of context,” and, in subsequent postings to Twitter, played the incident off as a joke.
“I deleted my Lori Lightfoot tweet quickly because it was said a million times before me and I knew I would add legitimacy to it. And if it ain’t true I didn’t want to be blamed from starting a rumor I had nothing to do with. Well, too late,” he said. “I would never talk about people personal lives. Not my place and I wouldn’t ever feed that rumor about Lori Lightfoot and her wife. There was a deleted tweet about me saying she was resigning and somehow I was attached to the personal scandal. I talk about policy only.”
“I made clear to the public and to the mayor that my intention was never to fuel rumors about her family. I have major concerns with how the mayor is leading right now, but I will never get personal,” he added to the Sun-Times.
Lightfoot is regularly under fire for her handling of issues related to the city’s ongoing streak of violence and the Adam Toledo video only added urgency to the need to bring Chicago’s gang warfare under control.