Trump Pardons Convicted Ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio

The president on Friday evening pardoned the anti-immigration sheriff who was found guilty of racially profiling Latinos.

REUTERS

UPDATED: AUG. 25, 2017 / 8:40 p.m.


President Donald Trump on Friday night followed through on his suggestion earlier this week to pardon former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who last month was found guilty of criminal contempt after violating a court order that instructed him to stop racially profiling Latino motorists.

"Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?" Trump posed to attendees at a rally in Phoenix Tuesday where he hinted at the strong likelihood he would pardon Arpaio.

"Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?"

Both questions were met with applause.

"He should've had a jury, but you know what? I'll make a prediction. I think he's gonna be just fine, okay? But, but, but, I won't do it tonight, because I don't want to cause any controversy, is that okay? But Sheriff Joe can feel good."

Arpaio, 85, prided himself as being "America's toughest sheriff" while serving Maricopa County due to his hardline stance against immigration and his treatment of jail inmates.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton did not agree that Arpaio was "doing his job" when she last month found the former sheriff guilty of violating a 2011 court order from a different judge that instructed Arpaio's officers to not racially profile against Latinos. Under Arpaio's leadership, officers were arresting and detaining motorists simply under the suspicion that they were undocumented immigrants.

A 2011 Justice Department report found that Latinos drivers in Maricopa County were four to nine times more likely to be stopped than non-Latino drivers.

"Our review (which was conducted with the assistance of our expert law enforcement consultants) of all of the traffic-related incident reports generated by MCSO's Human Smuggling Unit ('HSU') over a three-year period showed that roughly one-fifth of the reports, almost all of which involved Latino drivers, contained information indicating that the stops were conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable seizures," according to the DOJ.

Trump's move to pardon Arpaio would have been unprecedented because Arpaio has not even been sentenced yet. That hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5. He only faces up to six months in jail.

Three Arizona congressmen had signed a letter addressed to the president on Aug. 17 asking him not to pardon the racist sheriff.

Reps. Ruben Gallego, Tom O'Halleran and Raúl Grijalva, all Democrats, had expressed they were "gravely concerned" by the possibility.

"We believe public officials should be held accountable when they commit crimes and that the rule of law should be applied fairly regardless of how powerful an office holder's friends are," the men stated.

Arpaio endorsed Trump for president during his campaign, and Trump has long been a supporter of Arpaio.

Arpaio and Trump both pushed the "birther" movement, making unsubstantiated claims that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

While still serving as sheriff, Arpaio formed a "Cold Case Posse," which was tasked with investigating the conspiracy. Trump tweeted out his support for Arpaio's cause in 2012.

Paul Penzone, who replaced Arpaio as Maricopa County's sheriff, announced in January that the posse would be disbanded.

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Trump Rallies Base With Coordinated Communications Plan

From dining at Mexican restaurants to wearing clothing with messages, the Trump administration is leveraging hateful communications for political success.

By Sheryl Estrada and Luke Visconti

Despite the backlash against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy regarding immigrants, President Trump boosted his approval ratings among Republicans to 90 percent, higher than Ronald Reagan at this point in his presidency.

The rise in Trump support "suggests a level of unity among Republicans that could help mitigate Mr. Trump's low overall approval ratings and aid his party's chances of keeping control of the House of Representatives in November," The New York Times reported on Saturday.

The number of people identifying as Republican since 2016 has dropped and the Democrats have an 8 percentage point advantage, up slightly from when they won the popular vote by 3 million. Trump's approval rating amongst non-Republicans is at 15 percent, lower than any other president in recent history, including George W. Bush.

The key for the November congressional elections is going to be voter turn out – and it appears that the Republicans have a decisive advantage after last week's apparently coordinated hate communications campaign.

Immigrants Will 'Infest' America

After backlash from politicians and the general public, Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday saying immigrant families will no longer be separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. The separation was a result of the "zero tolerance" policy.

On Tuesday, he said immigrants would infest America:

I Really Don't Care, Do You?

On Thursday, First Lady Melania Trump made an unexpected trip to Texas to visit a shelter for immigrant children. She wore a short trench coat with a message written on the back: "I Really Don't Care, Do U?"

Melania Trump wore the jacket boarding the plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland and when she returned.

Social media users posted about the irony of what the first lady chose to wear to visit kids separated from their families.

East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham said there was "no hidden message" behind the jacket.

Meanwhile, President Trump tweeted that the statement was against the "fake news media":

Dining at Mexican Restaurants

In the middle of a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, Stephen Miller — the senior White House adviser who orchestrated the "zero-tolerance" policy — had dinner on June 17 at Espita Mezcaleria in Washington, D.C.

"Hey look guys, whoever thought we'd be in a restaurant with a real-life fascist begging [for] money for new cages?" a customer at the restaurant said to Miller, according to The New York Post.

Miller didn't respond and left quickly, a witness said.

Homeland Security Trump Minister Kirstjen Nielsen then went to another Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for dinner.

A group called the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America approached Nielsen in MXDC Cocina Mexicana.

"If kids don't eat in peace, you don't eat in peace!" protesters chanted. They also shouted, "Shame!"

"Have you listened to it? Have you heard the babies crying? Do you hear them crying?" activists asked, regarding a tape leaked earlier in the week of young children taken at the border crying.

"No borders, no walls, sanctuary for all," they said.

Dining at Red Hen

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took an almost 200-mile drive from the White House to rural Virginia on Friday night to eat at a tiny, 26-seat restaurant in Lexington, where residents overwhelmingly voted against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, despite the rest of the county voting for him.

Huckabee was at the Red Hen with "her husband, three or four men and women of roughly similar ages, and an older couple," according to The Washington Post.

The chef contacted the co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, to let her know Huckabee was present and that the staff was concerned.

When Wilkinson arrived, she asked her employees if they'd like Huckabee to leave and they agreed.

Many of her gay employees were upset by Sanders' defense for the administration's ban on transgender service members and her praise of a Supreme Court ruling that sided with an anti-gay baker.

And earlier in the week, she defended the administration separating migrants from their children at the southern border.

Wilkinson asked Sanders to leave the establishment.

On Saturday morning, Sanders used her official press secretary account to tweet about being asked to leave because she works in the Trump administration:

Bootlickers Continue Their Synchronized Licking

Politics trump ethics for so-called "religious" so-called "leaders." Children screwed over.

Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of the late Billy Graham, might be disturbed by the images and audio of children crying after being separated from their parents after they are detained crossing the U.S. border. However, because Graham has been among President Trump's strongest supporters, he's not blaming the current administration.

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Trump Caves, Signs Executive Order to Stop His Border Policy, No Details

Tries to blame Obama, Democrats, Congress as he caves in to human decency.

REUTERS

UPDATED June 20, 2018 at 3:36 p.m.

Trump signs executive order to keep families together at border, says 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue.

The New York Times reports that the new executive order seeks to modify that existing consent decree in order to keep parents and children together in detention. However, Amnesty International says that those detentions could now be indefinite.

"Make no mistake—this executive order is a betrayal of families fleeing violence and persecution," Denise Bell, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Amnesty International USA said in a statement.

"Mothers, fathers, and children must not be held behind bars for prolonged periods for seeking safety. Not only does imprisoning children go against our country's shared values of dignity and equality, but it is also unlawful and threatens to permanently stain the U.S. human rights record."

ORIGINAL STORY

During an early afternoon meeting on Wednesday with members of Congress at the White House, President Donald Trump reportedly was going to announce an end to a major crisis in which migrant families are being separated after they are detained crossing the U.S. border.

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REUTERS

U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III may lose his job as Sunday school teacher as he faces expulsion by his own church's people for his enforcement of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

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Video: Rep. Cummings Says What Every Non-Bigoted American Thinks About Trump's 'Zero Tolerance' Policy

"We will not keep kids in internment camps," declared Cummings."This is the United States of America."

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) expressed what compassionate, non-bigoted Americans feels about the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy on immigration — "We are better than that."

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REUTERS

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, said that slain civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be "proud" of what President Donald Trump has done for Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.

Bannon was the CEO of Trump's presidential campaign. Trump gained supporters by calling Mexicans rapists, committing to building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., allowing Black people to be physically assaulted at his rallies and lightly disavowing the support of white supremacists.

"Martin Luther King ... he would be proud of what Donald Trump has done for [the] Black and Hispanic working class, okay?" Bannon said on "This Week" Sunday.

On Sunday, King's daughter, Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, re-tweeted a post from The Washington Post reporter Eugene Scott who referenced a similar claim Bannon had made previously. She included a response, simply stating: “Absolutely not."

In May, King tweeted:

Bannon said in March at an event with far-right French politicians that they should "wear" accusations of racism "as a badge of honor."

Let them call you racist. Let them call you xenophobes," he said. “Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor. Because every day, we get stronger and they get weaker."

Bannon said on Sunday that he was “talking specifically about Donald Trump and his policies."

“His economic nationalism doesn't care about your race, your religion, your gender, your sexual preference," he said.

The Trump administration's “zero tolerance" immigration policy is currently separating children of undocumented immigrants from their mothers and fathers.

King tweeted on Sunday:

Video: Police Stop, Frisk Black Men for Helping Friend with Broken-Down Truck

"While at the gas station waiting for the tow truck we were stopped and frisked because the undercover police officer said we 'looked suspicious,'" said Dmani Brown.

FACEBOOK

Thanks to a viral Facebook video with more than 650,000 page views, an investigation is currently underway into why Dyer, Ind., police stopped and frisked Black men because they pushed a friend's SUV into a BP gas station parking lot.

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