“Want to give his name? We’ll destroy his career,” Trump told Sheriff Harold Eavenson of Rockwall County, Texas. Trump’s comment was met with laughter and Eavenson declined to give the official’s name.
Trump made the remark during a listening session with county sheriffs at the White House. Eavenson is in line to become president of the National Sheriffs’ Association in June, the Dallas Morning News reported.
A White House spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon that Trump was joking:
Trump typically uses Twitter to go after anyone he’s angry at, including officials who disagree with him. In 2015, he attacked journalist Megyn Kelly because he believed she treated him unfairly in a presidential debate.
He also targeted Gonzalo Curiel, an Indiana-born federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University, by saying that Curiel was incapable of doing his job because of his Mexican heritage.
On Saturday, Trump questioned the legitimacy of a federal judge who temporarily halted his executive order banning refugees and individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
This story has been updated to note that a White House spokeswoman said Trump was joking.