When Donald Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio, people on both sides of the political aisle were sickened. Arpaio, who has been nicknamed ‘America’s Most Racist Sheriff,’ has a long history of racially profiling Latinos. He was convicted of criminal contempt by a federal judge after failing to comply with an order to cease and desist from doing so. According to Arpaio, he did not follow the court order because:
Nobody is higher than me. I am the elected sheriff by the people. I don’t serve any governor or the president.
That apparently means he is not obliged to follow the laws of our country.
In a classic Trump-style manipulation of the news cycle, Mr. Trump hinted at the possibility of pardoning Arpaio during a recent rally in Phoenix, Arizona. Instead, he said he would wait to announce it because it would be “too controversial” to do it then.
When Trump finally did announce Arpaio’s pardon, he chose to do so right as Hurricane Harvey was about to make landfall in the Southern United States.
I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2017
In a stunning statement on Monday, Donald Trump admitted to pardoning Arpaio during that time because of the possibility for “higher ratings” if he announced it during the hurricane. Said Trump,
I assumed the ratings would be far higher.
As in, so many people would be on social media checking to see if loved ones were safe that his “show” would get more viewers.
Our president, Donald J. Trump, rather than being concerned about the citizens of Texas and Louisiana, saw that moment as an opportunity to gain more attention for his pardon of the most racist sheriff in the nation.
Shame on you, Mr. Trump. That level of blatant disregard for hundreds of thousands of American citizens who are facing the worst disaster to strike the United States in recent history is shocking, even for you.
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