Former Arizona lawman, Joe Arpaio, said Sunday that Republicans should rally around President Trump after several voiced their objection to Trump’s decision to pardon the controversial sheriff.
“They’re trying to go after the president. He’s a great guy and I’m with him and will always be with him,” Arpaio, a longtime sheriff in Maricopa County said in an interview, according to The Wall Street Journal. “I’m sad what they’re doing to him. It’s sad.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain said they opposed Trump's pardoning.
"The speaker does not agree with this decision,” said Doug Andres, a spokesman for Ryan. “Law enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon."
Trump on Friday spared Arpaio, from the Phoenix area, the prospect of serving jail time in granting the first presidential pardon of his turbulent tenure, wiping away the lawman's recent federal conviction stemming from his immigration patrols that focused on Latinos.
“The president has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions,” McCain said after the Friday pardon announcement.
Arpaio said McCain likely took that position because he campaigned for McCain’s opponent in both of his presidential bids.
“It’s probably payback time,” Arpaio, an early supporter of Trump, said.