De Bla­sio meets with Trump, says many in city are fear­ful

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - STATE NEWS - By Jonathan Lemire

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.

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