Hickenlooper talks Trump, marijuana, immigration

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DENVER -- In a comprehensive interview, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper praised President Donald Trump days after meeting the president for the first time.

"He could not have been more charming," Hickenlooper said.

The governor met Trump earlier this week during a National Governors Association meeting in Washington. While the men have many differences, Hickenlooper said the first impression was a positive.

On policy, the two did not get a chance to discuss recreational marijuana. Hickenlooper vows to defend Colorado against federal intervention, although he's not sure what a crackdown on marijuana might look like.

"What they might do is come in and try and make an example out of a couple of the larger enterprises," Hickenlooper said.

The governor, who originally opposed marijuana legalization in Colorado, says he supports continuing the "experiment of recreational marijuana."

During his visit to the nation's capital, Hickenlooper was reassured the Department of Homeland Security will not be rounding up and deporting undocumented immigrants unless they are connected to serious crimes.

"Threatening and scaring people really isn't constructive," Hickenlooper said. "It's not good for business."

Overall, the governor was pleased with President Trump's tone during his first address to a joint session of Congress.

He said the speech was promising, and he's hoping the president will become consistent with a positive tone and unifying message.

As for Hickenlooper's political ambitions, he's not closing the door on running for president himself.

"I'm not starting a political action committee," Hickenlooper said. "I'm not out organizing, trying to recruit supporters. I'm going to focus on Colorado. Two years from now, we can see what happens."

Hickenlooper has two years remaining in his second term as governor. He cannot run in 2018 because of term limits.