President Donald Trump said Thursday his administration is “looking at” Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, California, after she warned her city’s residents last week about an upcoming raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
“What the mayor of Oakland did the other day was a disgrace, where they had close to 1,000 people ready to be gotten, ready to be taken off the streets,” Trump said Thursday during a portion of a White House Cabinet meeting that was open to reporters. “And the mayor of Oakland went out — and she went out and warned them all: 'Scatter.'”
Trump’s criticism included what appeared to be a veiled threat of legal action against the Oakland mayor, whom he blamed for ICE making only around 150 arrests when it had targeted many more undocumented immigrants. The administration has said people with criminal backgrounds were able to escape; Schaaff has said the administration is trying to portray people in the country illegally as criminals.
“She said, 'Get out of here.' And she's telling that to criminals. And it's certainly something that we're looking at with respect to her individually,” Trump said. “What she did is incredible and very dangerous from the standpoint of ICE and border patrol. Very dangerous. She really made law enforcement much more dangerous than it had to be. So we're looking at that situation very carefully.”
A spokesman for Schaaf did not immediately return a request for comment. The mayor said at the time that she felt it was her “duty and moral obligation” to warn Oakland families about the upcoming ICE sweep. She told the San Francisco Chronicle last week that her warning was intended to “give all residents time to learn their rights and know their legal options.”
Trump’s criticism of Schaaf followed harsh words for from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who rhetorically asked the mayor, “How dare you?” in a Wednesday speech that came after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against California over its sanctuary policies for undocumented immigrants.
Sessions, in his speech, said Schaaf had “needlessly [endangered] the lives of law enforcement.”