Biggs calls on Trump to pardon Arpaio

Aug 23, 2017, 00:41
Biggs calls on Trump to pardon Arpaio

We got this. That's one message top law enforcement brass for the city, county, and state conveyed a day in advance of Donald Trump's rally tonight in downtown Phoenix, which is expected to draw thousands of passionate supporters and foes of the president.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, asked the Republican president to postpone Tuesday's event scheduled for 7 p.m. MST in light of his response to the street battles that broke out earlier this month at a protest against the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville.

Arpaio, who touted himself as "America's toughest sheriff" and served the poster child for hardline immigration policies until his defeat a year ago, recently was convicted by a federal judge for ignoring a court order that he stop detaining people on the mere suspicion that they were undocumented immigrants.

Republican Governor Doug Ducey told the Arizona Republic that he would welcome Trump on the tarmac when he arrived but would not attend the rally. "He's a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him".

"Tuesday will be a hard and trying day for our city and for our law enforcement professionals whose job it is to keep everyone safe", Stanton, who has been unequivocal in his condemnation of the rally, said.

Just a month after he announced his candidacy in June 2015, Trump revved up 5,000 people over immigration in Phoenix - telling the largest crowd of his campaign up to that point that he would make sure they take their country back, and that "Chinese leaders are much smarter than Obama and his bunch of clowns" on trade. He's voted with Trump on important issues, but has been more willing than most GOP lawmakers to criticize him and did not endorse him previous year. The former sheriff said he doesn't view that as a sign that he is no longer being considered for a pardon but, rather, that tonight's venue was not the right setting.

President Trump will host a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday night, against the wishes of Phoenix's mayor and to the concern of some of his own White House staff.

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A poll conducted over the weekend by OH Predictive Insights found that only 21 percent of Arizonans support a pardon of Arpaio.

Neither of Arizona's two republican senators planned to appear with Trump while he is in the state.

A source involved in planning today's event told ABC News that a pardon is "highly unlikely" but cautioned that there's always potential for things to go off script. Flake was slammed by the president as "toxic" on his typical early morning Twitter last Thursday.

But Stanton made it clear that, everything else being equal, he wished that Trump would not be coming for a campaign-style rally - at least not now on the heels of Charlottesville.

Vice President Mike Pence will also be at the event, according to NBC News.

Trump will meet with border control agents before the rally as he seeks to recover from plummeting opinion poll figures. But she did say police would "create a situation for people to express themselves". "I don't think he represents the conservative viewpoint, the constitutional viewpoint".

Flake said at the time he was "dumbstruck" by her comments.

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