President Donald Trump defended his decision to pardon Joe Arpaio on Monday, insisting the controversial Arizona lawman had been treated unfairly.
“I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly,” Trump said of Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court related to his hard-line tactics going after undocumented immigrants.
“Sheriff Joe is a great veteran of the military, a great law enforcement person,” Trump said.
He went on to list controversial clemency decisions made by past presidents, including Bill Clinton’s decision to pardon Marc Rich and President Barack Obama’s decision to commute to the sentence of Chelsea Manning.
Trump said he stood by his decision — and suggested he used increased television ratings amid Friday night’s hurricane to publicize the move.
TV ratings, he said, were “far higher.”