Donald Trump has been President of the United States for just seven months and, like like a teenage boy with a locked bedroom door, he has been exploring his new powers, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah says.
“This weekend, he confirmed he could get someone off all by himself,” the Comedy Central’s late-night host snarked Monday night about Trump’s pardon of controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio. Dems blasted the pardon, saying it condones racism; Arizona’s two GOP senators blasted the move as an undermining of the rule of law. House Speaker Paul Ryan came out saying he does not agree with the president’s decision which, Noah noted, is a typically limp Ryan reax.
In his Profiles in Tremendousness look at the man Trump pardoned, Noah informed viewers Arpaio was famous for pulling motorists over for being Hispanic, and forcing Hispanic detainees to live in tents in triple-digit temperatures, which Arpaio famously called his “concentration camp.” Journalists have reported that prisoners under Arpaio’s control died at alarming rates, and so on.
Arpaio’s “getting tough-on-illegal-immigration” racism also hurt taxpayers, costing them an estimated $142 million in legal fees, settlements and compliance costs during his tenure as sheriff, from 1993 to 2015. That included two lawsuits over wrongful deaths of prisoners and tens of millions in civil rights and discrimination lawsuits, NBC News’ Chuck Todd detailed in a clip Noah showed his viewers.
Trump pardoned Arpaio as the former sheriff was about to be sentenced to up to six months in jail. A federal court had found him guilty of criminal contempt over a 2011 court order, ruling he routinely violated American’s constitutional rights, and ordering him to stop immediately.
Here’s where Noah mentioned Arpaio was an early supporter of Donald Trump, being a foot soldier in Trump’s anti-Obama birther movement.
“For a guy who is ‘not a racist,’ Donald Trump sure has a lot of racist friends,” Noah mentioned.
Add Noah’s name to the list of pundits speculating Trump pardoned Arpaio as a signal to those from his campaign being looked at by Rob Mueller in his Russian probe; Noah says it sends a message to Trump cronies, “Hey, guys, good news, we get our own set of laws. You don’t need to cooperate with Mueller and the Russia investigation – I’ll just pardon you.”