NEW YORK — Of all the various Cabinet hopefuls and assorted hangers-on who have come to Trump Tower to get an audience with President-elect Donald Trump, perhaps the least congruous might be the visitor who dropped by Wednesday: Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It was, after all, de Blasio — the liberal mayor of New York City — who had described Trump during the campaign as a uniquely unqualified and dangerous candidate for president. Trump responded in kind, characterizing de Blasio as the worst mayor in New York City’s history.
And yet, the mayor and Trump met for 62 minutes, a meeting that de Blasio characterized afterward as respectful, substantive and “very candid.”
The mayor said he had voiced his concerns about numerous issues, including the prospect of large-scale deportations, and what he characterized as divisive language or policies that have heightened fears among New Yorkers. He would not characterize Trump’s reaction to the meeting.
“The ball’s in his court,” de Blasio said outside Trump Tower, at a news conference after the meeting. “People in the city and all over the country are looking to see what he’s going to do.”
On Monday, de Blasio said that he had spoken by phone with Trump, and that the two had arranged to have a meeting.
“We agreed to get together,” de Blasio said during his weekly appearance on NY1. “It was a respectful conversation, obviously with the acknowledgment we have very different views.”
He said that while the phone call had been cordial, “in an actual sit-down, I think, there has to be a blunter conversation. I have to let him know the concerns of New Yorkers, the fear that a lot of people feel, and I have to seek clarification about how he’s going to treat his home city.”
De Blasio said Monday that he would make “very clear” in their meeting that “we are going to stick to our values; we’re not going to bring back an unconstitutional policy of stop and frisk, we’re not going to aid and abet the deportation of peaceful people here in this city and their family members.”
He added, “There’s a lot where we as a locality are going to exercise our rights and prerogatives.”