Donald Trump said that he announced his pardon of former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas Friday night because he “assumed the ratings would be far higher.”
During a press conference with Finnish President Saudi Niinisto, Trump said:
“In the middle of a hurricane, even though it was a Friday evening, I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally. You know, the hurricane was just starting.”
Trump continued, “He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona, he’s very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration. I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly when they came down with their big decision to go get him right before the election voting started.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 28, 2017
Democrats blasted Trump Friday for announcing his pardon of Arpaio as Harvey made landfall, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accusing Trump of “using the cover of the storm” to issue the pardon.
The White House announced Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio on Friday night in a statement.
“Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now eighty-five years old, and after more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.”