President Donald Trump this morning retweeted Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich’s tweet directed at Ben Rhodes, who served as deputy national security adviser for strategic communications for former President Barack Obama. She wrote that Obama had pardoned Chelsea Manning and Oscar Lopez Rivera, but he only commuted their sentences.
Since Friday, Trump has been taking heat for announcing his pardon of Joe Arpaio in the teeth of one of the most powerful storms to hit the U.S. in years. As Hurricane Harvey was nearing Category 4 status, Trump announced that he had pardoned the former Maricopa County, AZ, sheriff, who had been found guilty of criminal contempt last month after disregarding a court order in a racial-profiling case. Arpaio was an early and devoted follower of Trump’s birther movement, which held that Obama was not born in this country and therefore did not hold his office legally.
After attacking Obama — the object of his ongoing obsession — this morning, Trump pivoted to quoting Mother Teresa in her observation about us all being the children of god, regardless of race, religion or nationality. Then Trump thanked the National Guard for rescuing those in distress in flooded areas of Texas: