A prominent Phoenix resident isn’t happy about President Trump’s plans to hold a rally in Arizona’s capitol next week: the mayor, who asked Trump not to come.
“I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville,” Stanton said in a statement released on Twitter. “If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation.”
On Tuesday, Trump defended the white supremacists whose march on Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend turned deadly violent, one day after condemning them (reading from a prepared statement).
“There is another side,” Trump said off-the-cuff at a Tuesday press conference that was supposed to be about infrastructure. “There was a group on this side, you can call them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is.”
Arpaio, 84, is a notorious former Arizona law-enforcement official who was found guilty late last month of criminal contempt charges linked to his controversial “immigration sweeps” in Maricopa County. The man who once called himself “America’s toughest sheriff” and held inmates in a sweltering outdoor “tent city” could face six months behind bars. Though Trump’s intentions for the Arizona visit haven’t been explained, Arpaio was a prominent Trump campaign surrogate — and Trump has already said he is “seriously considering” a pardon for Arpaio.
Trump has yet to respond to Mayor Stanton’s request, but we’re watching his Twitter: Everyone knows the president isn’t afraid to fire it up to attack those who oppose him.