Bill de Blasio ‘hopeful’ that Trump paid attention when he explained how 'fearful' Americans are now
Bill de Blasio (CNN)

Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, said he was "hopeful" that Donald Trump paid attention long enough to understand how terrified Americans are of his pending administration.


De Blasio met with Trump for about an hour Wednesday for a "candid" discussion on a wide variety of topics, the mayor told CNN's "New Day."

"Look, I think it was important for me to explain to him how fearful people are in this city (and) in this country that, not just the rhetoric, but some of the policies that have been proposed literally have people wondering whether their family members might be deported (or) whether, because of their religion, they're going to be discriminated against," de Blasio said.

The mayor said Americans sense that, if they take Trump at his word, his policies could "change the nature of this country."

"People are feeling it very, very personally," he said.

De Blasio said he's not sure Trump understood how fearful many Americans are of his presidency, but he believes the president-elect tamed his famously short attention span to remain engaged in the conversation.

"I'm not going to characterize his position, (but) I will say it was a substantive discussion, and because it was a lengthy discussion, I'm hopeful that a lot of the give-and-take really registered," de Blasio said.

"But I think the proof will be in the pudding," he continued. "The question is, there is that rhetoric, and it was shocking to a lot of us and unacceptable in the context of American democracy. Now he's going to get to do things, (and) the actions will tell us who he really is."