Trump Hints He Will Pardon Controversial Sheriff, Bashes Media at Arizona Rally

President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally.

“I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy, but Sheriff Joe can feel good.”

Arpaio, the tough-talking law enforcement official who took a hard line against illegal immigration, was recently convicted of defying a court order to stop detaining suspected undocumented immigrants. A federal judge in 2013 ruled his police department racially profiled Latinos and ordered the sheriff to cease the practice.

Trump questioned the ruling, asking rhetorically: “Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing this job?”

Trump in recent weeks has reportedly considered pardoning Arpaio, a move critics decried as an endorsement of racism. News of the potential pardon comes amid turmoil afflicting Trump’s administration after he defended white nationalists who rallied in Charlottesville, Va. in defense of Confederate statues. The weekend of protest ended fatally, after a white supremacist plowed into a crowd of counter-protestors.

Tuesday’s rally included an introduction by Vice President Mike Pence. Pence, in his address, touched on themes of unity and patriotism. “When we are united, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish together.”

He added: “When we open our hearts to patriotism, there’s no room for prejudice.”

Trump began his remarks reading from a teleprompter, similarly touching on nationalist themes. “Loyalty to our nation requires loyalty to each other,” Trump said as he read from prepared text, at times ad-libbing in between lines.

Eventually Trump began speaking extemporaneously, demonizing the news media as “sick people” and “dishonest.” He said reporters “don’t like our country” and warned that the news media is “trying to take way our history and our heritage.”

Tuesday’s stream-of-consciousness address by Trump stood in stark contrast to his scripted remarks Monday night on the decision to keep American troops in Afghanistan. By the time he came on stage and rallied supporters, protestors had spent hours outside of the convention center, some carrying signs calling for Trump’s impeachment.

More Biz

  • Aretha Franklin - American Soul Singer

    Aretha Franklin Funeral, Public Viewing Plans Announced

    President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally. “I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I […]

  • Stan Lee

    Judge Grants Restraining Order to Protect Stan Lee

    President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally. “I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I […]

  • Prince Rogers Nelson

    Prince Estate and Sony Release 23 Long-Unavailable Albums Digitally

    President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally. “I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I […]

  • Rosie O'Donnell, Frankie Shaw, David Nevins,

    Showtime Takes Boutique Approach Amid Intense Competition for Talent, Premium TV Viewers

    President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally. “I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I […]

  • Ryan Kavanaugh

    Relativity Media Sale to UltraV Holdings Approved by Bankruptcy Judge

    President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally. “I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I […]

  • Music Streaming Revenue placeholder

    Fraud Has Become the Latest Hurdle for Music Streaming

    President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally. “I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content