Donald Trump has threatened to "destroy" the career of a state senator who he disagrees with.

After being told by a sheriff about a policy that would require people to have been convicted of a crime before police take their assets, Mr Trump encouraged law enforcement to make the name of the politician public.

"Who is the state senator? Do you want to give his name?" Mr Trump asked during a meeting at the White House. "We'll destroy his career."

The sheriff – Harold Eavenson, from Rockwall County in Texas – was the first of a group of law enforcement officials to speak to Mr Trump. He complained about asset forfeiture rules, which at the moment allow police to seize the cash and property of people they think have committed a crime – without them actually needing to be convicted of anything.

The Sheriff's complaint was that the state senator was "introducing legislation that would require a conviction, before we can receive that forfeiture money". "Can you believe that?" asked Mr Trump when he heard about the rule.

Law enforcement officials claim that allowing them to take money from people lets them fight terrorism and the drug trade, and Mr Eavenson said that drug cartels in Mexico would "build a monument to him". Opponents of the practise – including Barack Obama, who worked to reduce the power – argue that any confiscations should be done in a legal process.

He went on to say that the senator's career could be destroyed for looking to bring in the legislation, a remark that some others gathered in the Roosevelt Room laughed at. Mr Eavenson only shrugged in response to Mr Trump's question.

Donald Trump made the comments during meetings with members of the National Sheriff's Association. At the same meeting, he said that he would fight in the courts to uphold the Muslim ban, after a judge granted a temporary stay in its effect.

"And a lot of people agree with us, believe me," Trump said at a roundtable discussion. "If those people ever protested, you'd see a real protest. But they want to see our borders secure and our country secure." 

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