TRUMP TOWER – Following an hour-long meeting with the president elect on Wednesday, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, looking even more haunted than usual, held a press conference outside Trump Tower. “Nothing about anyone’s fundamental beliefs changed in the meeting,” the mayor reported. “Obviously.”
The mayor traveled uptown to Donald Trump’s Fifth Avenue residence to voice his concerns over “some of the messages, some of the rhetoric” the reality star voiced during his campaign. “I tried to express to him how much fear there is in communities all over this city,” de Blasio said. As a surrogate for Hillary Clinton, the mayor had said Trump was unfit to be president. Trump, in turn, called de Blasio the “worst mayor in the history of New York City.”
De Blasio told reporters that the concerns he raised with the president elect included the proposed repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, Trump’s proposed undocumented immigrant deportation plan and the NYPD’s unwillingness to assist it, and Trump’s apparent interest in recommitting to the failed and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk method of policing.
“We’re never going back” to stop-and-frisk, de Blasio said, also pointing out that there are some 900 Muslim members of the New York City police force.
“I left the meeting with the door open for more dialogue,” de Blasio said. “I will be open-minded, but swift to react any time action is taken that undermines the values of New York City.” He declined to characterize the nature of Trump’s responses to his concerns. The New York Times reports that the pair met alone, without aides.
In the coming days, the mayor said, his administration will address questions about whether federal officials enforcing a heightened Trump deportation effort will be given access to the city’s IDNYC database, a municipal ID program designed for people with limited documentation. Nearly half a million New Yorkers are undocumented immigrants, and many have participated in the program. In the wake of Trump’s election, de Blasio is considering destroying the database of New Yorkers’ personal information, rather than being forced to turn that information over to federal law enforcement or immigration authorities.
De Blasio also addressed questions about the logistical issues presented by housing a president elect in midtown Manhattan, saying that NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill would be meeting with the Secret Service this week to find a less disruptive solution. (Several cross-streets around Trump Tower and lanes on the adjacent avenues have been closed.)
Some of the high-end retailers have been complaining about a drop in foot traffic since last Tuesday, even as they enjoy the added security of NYPD in riot gear and Secret Service. “I will not tell you that Gucci and Tiffany’s are my central concerns in life,” the mayor said. “But I will say the traffic situation is a very real problem.”