“President Trump on Tuesday all but promised to pardon Joe Arpaio, the hard-line former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., who became a national symbol of the campaign against undocumented immigrants, and whose round-’em-up raids have landed him in legal trouble,” The New York Times is reporting.
“’I’ll make a prediction — I think he is going to be just fine,’ an angry and defiant Mr. Trump told a campaign-style forum in Phoenix where he abandoned scripted remarks and launched into a half-hour tirade against the news media. ‘But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy.’
“But Sheriff Joe can feel good,’ Mr. Trump added.
“Hours earlier, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, had said that Mr. Trump would not issue a pardon for Mr. Arpaio on Tuesday.
“Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court after he flouted an order to stop detaining people his office suspected of being undocumented immigrants. Mr. Trump’s teased pardon of him energized the crowd at the convention center, where the president had been expected to stick to a theme of national unity but instead tripled down on his defense of his earlier statement about the racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Va. He also again accused the ‘dishonest media’ of distorting his words.”
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