President Trump Offers to 'Destroy Career' of State Senator | NBC Southern California
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President Trump Offers to 'Destroy Career' of State Senator

Trump offered to destroy the career of a Texas state senator who opposed asset forfeiture.

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    President Donald Trump offered to destroy the career of an unnamed Texas state senator at a White House meeting with law enforcement officials on Tuesday.

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017)

    President Donald Trump offered to destroy the career of an unnamed Texas state senator at a White House meeting with law enforcement officials on Tuesday.

    At a meeting with sheriffs from around the country, Sheriff Harold Eavenson, from Rockwall County, Texas, told Trump that a state senator opposed seizing assets prior to someone being convicted of a crime.

    "We have a state senator in Texas that was talking about introducing legislation that would require a conviction before we can receive that forfeiture money," Eavenson said.

    Eavenson then added that drug cartels would "build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed." 

    Trump then asked Eavenson to name the senator, which Eavenson declined to do. 

    "Want to give his name? We'll destroy his career," said Trump, whose response drew laughter from some in the room, including Eavenson.

    In an interview after the meeting, Eavenson again declined to name the senator and said he didn't take Trump's comment seriously. 

    "I don't know what his intentions were," Eavenson said. "But I didn't take it as though he was serious about destroying his career."

    In Austin, several Democratic lawmakers pounced at the state capitol.

    Several circulated a resolution, saying, "When the president of the United States threatens any member of the Texas Senate, it must be considered a threat to all Texas senators."

    The resolution didn't have enough signatures to be considered.

    Meanwhile, speculation swirled about who the unnamed senator is.

    Two senators – Konni Burton, of Fort Worth, and Juan Hinojosa, of McAllen – introduced a bill this session that would allow police to seize someone's property only if that person is convicted of a crime.

    In a statement released Wednesday, Burton said, in part, "I have never met with Sheriff Eavenson, nor even heard of him before yesterday. However I take exception to his comments on asset forfeiture reform."

    "While I certainly want law enforcement to have the tools necessary to combat large criminal enterprises, we must be vigilant to safeguard the rights of everyday citizens from potential abuse," Burton said.

    Several messages of support were retweeted by Burton's official Twitter account Tuesday night.

    When Trump met with the sheriffs Tuesday, he also brought up his victories with officials from Pennsylvania and North Carolina. And when a sheriff from Minnesota introduced himself, Trump said if he had campaigned in the state one more time he would have won it.

    The president has brought up his electoral victory frequently since taking office.

    He also spoke on a wide range of issues at the meeting, including border security, drug addiction, human trafficking and terrorism.

    Below is Burton's full statement on civil asset forfeiture:

    NBC 5's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.