De Blasio meets with Trump, says many in city are fearful
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he met with President-elect Donald Trump for an hour Wednesday at Trump Tower and told him that many New York City residents are “fearful” of what his administration could bring.
“I tried to express to him how much fear there is, how much fear there is in communities all over this city,” de Blasio told reporters after the meeting, adding that there are “a whole range of people in the biggest city in the country who are fearful about this current dynamic.”
“We need to see things that give people more assurance that all New Yorkers and all Americans will be respected,” the mayor said.
The mayor, a liberal Democrat, and the Republican president-elect have clashed repeatedly, with de Blasio saying Trump was “unfit” to hold the presidency and the celebrity businessman declaring that de Blasio was “widely considered” the worst mayor in the United States.
But the men spoke briefly last week and de Blasio described his meeting Wednesday as “respectful” and “candid” with a real “give-and-take.” De Blasio declined to categorize Trump’s responses, and a request for comment from the president-elect’s spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
De Blasio is running for re-election next year and might have found a perfect foil in Trump, who overwhelmingly lost the vote in his hometown of New York City to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and whose election has spurred massive protests across the city. Despite middling poll numbers, de Blasio has yet to face a credible challenger and made clear that he would not shy away from taking the fight to Trump.
The mayor said he shared concerns about Trump’s support of aggressive policing tactics like stop and frisk, his tax plans and any move to deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. De Blasio also vowed to protect the city’s Muslim population and expressed some hope that Trump would back away from some of his campaign’s divisive rhetoric.
“He is a New Yorker. I do think he loves this city,” de Blasio said.
Trump’s team has signaled that, even after taking office, he plans to spend time in the gilded Manhattan skyscraper that bears his name, presenting a security challenge for the city’s police and potentially snarling traffic for is residents. De Blasio said he would address the security situation later this week.