During a news conference on Monday, a reporter asked President Donald Trump about his pardon of former Sheriff of Maricopa Country, Arizona, Joe Arpaio, wondering what he thought about those who criticized his choice.
Trump pardoned the controversial sheriff, right as Hurricane Harvey rolled into Southern Texas. The reporter said, “In the middle of hurricane Harvey hitting, on Friday night, you chose to pardon former sheriff Joe Arpaio.” As if Trump snuck a pardon in the middle of a disaster going down as if nobody would report on it. Hey, maybe as hurricane Harvey was rolling through, President Trump was working through the night?
The president seemed prepared for the question and got something out of his jacket pocket that the reporter didn’t expect — a list of controversial pardons issued by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
President Trump defended pardoning controversial former Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Monday, calling him a “patriot” who had been unjustly treated by former President Barack Obama’s Justice Department. Speaking from the White House at a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Trump read off a list of past pardons that presidents have taken heat for, including Obama’s pardoning of Chelsea Manning and Oscar Lopez Rivera.
Trump noted that Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, a financier whose egregious crimes went on for decades.
“He was pardoned after his wife donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clintons,” Trump added.
Trump also mentioned Carlos Vignali, a top level drug dealer, and Susan Rosenberg, a domestic terrorist, whose prison sentences were commuted by Clinton.
The president also told the reporter about Barack Obama’s pardons and sentence commutations.
“President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who leaked countless sensitive and classified documents to WikiLeaks, perhaps and others. But horrible, horrible thing that he did, commuted the sentence and perhaps pardoned,” Trump said.
Trump also talked about Oscar Lopez Rivera, an unrepentant terrorist, who was responsible for several Chicago-area bombings in the 1970s and 1980s. Obama commuted his prison sentence in his last days in office, letting Lopez Rivera become a free man again.
The contrast with Arpaio couldn’t have been clearer, Trump taught the reporter.
“Sheriff Joe is a patriot. Sheriff Joe loves our country. Sheriff Joe protected our borders,” Trump said. “So I stand by my pardon of Sheriff Joe, and I think the people of Arizona, who really know him best, would agree with me.”
But the liberals never will.
Share this story on Facebook and Twitter!