- Reuters/Laura Segall
President Donald Trump floated the possibility of pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a rally in Arizona on Tuesday.
“By the way, I’m just curious – do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?” Trump asked a cheering crowd. “So, was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?”
“The people of Arizona know the deadly and heartbreaking consequences of illegal immigration,” Trump continued.
Arpaio, a former sheriff of Maricopa County in Phoenix, gained notoriety as a vocal critic of illegal immigration. He was convicted of criminal contempt last month for violating a 2011 court order in a racial profiling case.
“He should have had a jury, Trump said. “But you know what, I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, OK?”
“But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy,” Trump continued. “Is that OK? All right? But Sheriff Joe can feel good.”
Trump’s comments comes hours after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said he wouldn’t pardon Arpaio during his trip on Tuesday.
“There will be no discussion of that today at any point and no action will be taken on that front at any point today,” Sanders said.