President Trump on Monday defended his decision to pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio as Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas, saying the timing was intended to get media attention.
“I assumed the ratings would be far higher than they would be normally,” he said of the timing of the announcement as the U.S. kept eyes on the storm.
Trump also spent time on Monday defending the pardon itself, saying Arpaio’s actions were justified.
“He’s done a great job for the people of Arizona. He’s very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration,” Trump said during a news conference with the Finnish President. “He is loved in Arizona. I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly.”
Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt last month for ignoring a court order regarding his racial profiling case.