President Donald Trump said today he timed his pardon of Joe Arpaio to coincide with a deadly weather catastrophe so as to utilize its high ratings to bring more awareness to the controversial pardon.
Press who have speculated Trump timed the pardon of the former Maricopa County, AZ, sheriff so as to bury the news while America’s focus was on Hurricane Harvey got it dead wrong, the President insisted at a Monday afternoon news conference with Finland’s president.
“I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally – the hurricane was just starting,” Trump boasted.
In anticipation of the question about the timing, Trump brought with him, and read, a list of previous pardons of controversial or sleazy types that had been handed out by Democratic presidents. Arpaio was “very unfairly treated by the Obama Administration,” Trump said, adding that he stands by his decision to pardon the sheriff.
Last Friday, in the teeth of one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, Trump announced he has pardoned Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt last month after disregarding a court order in a racial-profiling case. He also was a devoted follower of Trump’s birther movement, which held that Barack Obama was not born in this country and therefore did not hold his office legally.
Hours before today’s news conference, PhoenixNewTimes tweeted a list of Arpaio’s “accomplishments” over the years.
Trump’s decision to give Arpaio a Get Out Of Jail card was blasted even by members of the Republican party, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said he…
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