Would Trump scrutinize law enforcement that failed to endorse him?

Referring to law enforcement that failed to support his re-election campaign, Trump said, "I think we have to look at them. Where do they come from?"
NYPD's units patrol 59th Street before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 26, 2015, in New York.
NYPD's units patrol 59th Street before the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 26, 2015, in New York.Scott Roth / Invision/AP file

As part of his re-election pitch, Donald Trump has been eager to present himself as a close ally of law enforcement -- the president's aggressive campaign against federal law enforcement notwithstanding. It's why viewers saw several police representatives during last week's Republican National Convention.

It was against this backdrop that Trump broached the subject yesterday, bragging during a press briefing about police endorsements. There was, however, an added twist to the president's boast.

"I have the privilege of having gotten, I guess, most -- most every law enforcement group in the country that I can think of -- the sheriffs in Florida -- all of them; law enforcement in Ohio; in Texas; North Carolina. I mean, almost no matter where you look, I think I've gotten all of it. We'll have to do a little study so I'm totally accurate, but I would say all of it. And the ones who didn't, I think we have to look at them. Where do they come from?"

To get a sense of Trump's tone, a video of the briefing is online. The relevant comments come at the 34:59 point in this clip.

I suppose the White House would argue that the president was kidding, and he doesn't really intend to "look at" law enforcement groups that failed to support his re-election campaign.

Then again, Trump also recently declared, "I don't kid."

At face value, the idea that an American president would scrutinize law enforcement in his own country based on their political support of his campaign seems plainly insane, and one can certainly hope that this was an unfortunate attempt at humor.

But Trump has made little secret of his fondness for enemies' lists, his demands for loyalty from law enforcement, and his eagerness to politicize law enforcement.

With a record like this one, Trump's "I think we have to look at them" line is tough to casually ignore.