Earlier today President Trump met with the National Sheriff's Association at the White House. The visit was supposed to be just another friendly meet and greet, but it took a slightly awkward turn when President Trump offered to "destroy the career" of a Texas state senator who is allegedly promoting a piece of legislation that would benefit Mexican drug cartels.
During the meeting, Rockwall County, Texas, Sheriff Harold Eavenson told President Trump about a piece of asset forfeiture legislation he believes would aid Mexican drug cartels...here's the full conversation:
Eavenson: "There's a state senator in Texas that was talking about legislation to require conviction before we could receive that forfeiture money."
Trump: "Do you believe that?"
Eavenson: "And I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed."
Trump: "Who is that state senator? I want to hear his name. We'll destroy his career..."
And here is the conversation caught on tape:
Sheriff tells Trump that state senator is doing something he doesn't like
Trump: "Do you want to give his name? We'll destroy his career." pic.twitter.com/75y3t9zc54
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) February 7, 2017
Reached later by The Dallas Morning News, Eavenson declined to identify the lawmaker that he inadvertently threw directly under the bus saying that he didn't take the president's offer to destroy the senator literally.
"He was just being emphatic that he did not agree with that senator's position," Eavenson said, adding of the senator in question, "I'm not into assassinating his character."
"He was making a point about how much he opposed that kind of philosophy," the sheriff said. "I appreciated what the president said. I can assure you that he is on our side."
Eavenson will become president of the National Sheriff's Association in June. He has been active in the Sheriff's Association of Texas.
As the Dallas Morning News also pointed out, only two Texas state senators have introduced asset forfeiture legislations this year, Republican Konni Burton and Democrat Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa.
Two Texas senators have offered legislation this year to require conviction before someone's assets could be seized. Sen. Konni Burton, a Republican who often pushes civil-liberties legislation to protect personal information and property, was a fierce critic of Trump during the campaign. She and Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, a McAllen Democrat, have formed an unlikely team pushing this asset forfeiture legislation.
Hinojosa said he didn't believe he was the target of Eavenson's comments. But he said he wasn't concerned about Trump's promise to wreak havoc on a senator's career.
"I don't know the sheriff," Hinojosa said. "Quite frankly, I don't pay much attention to what Trump says anymore."
Several other senators have also supported this change in the past, including two civil-libertarian Republicans: Bob Hall, whose district includes Rockwall County and Don Huffines of Dallas. Aides to Burton, Hall and Huffines could not immediately be reached for comment.
Never a dull moment in the Trump White House...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2017