Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Arizona released a statement on Wednesday, in which he encouraged President Trump to delay a planned campaign rally in his city. The Mayor said that “our nation is still healing” after the recent events in Charlottesville, VA last weekend, and a rally by the president would be ill-timed. Stanton said in his statement:
‘It is my hope that more sound judgement prevails and that he delays his visit.’
The Mayor also added that he was “disappointed” with President Trump’s leadership.
— Greg Stanton (@MayorStanton) August 16, 2017
Stanton also denounced Trump’s announcement that he would consider pardoning Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County Sheriff who was found guilty of multiple crimes related to his office last year. Among these crimes was defying a judge’s orders that he stop detaining Hispanics over suspicion of being undocumented immigrants. Arpaio’s immigration policy made his time in office highly contentious. Said Stanton:
‘If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame tensions and further divide our nation.’
On Fox this past Monday, Trump announced that he was “seriously considering” issuing a pardon for the contentious ex-Sheriff. He also referred to Arpaio as a “patriot,” and praised his efforts to combat unlawful immigration, saying;
‘Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe? He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.’
Stanton’s statement also made it clear that, while the Mayor is opposed to Trump’s trip to his city, he also would not stand in the way of the president going ahead with his plans anyway, including offering up the Phoenix Convention Center.
‘With regard to use of the Phoenix Convention Center for the rally: This is a public facility and open to anyone to rent, including the Trump campaign. Our Constitution protects the right to free speech, even for those we disagree with or those who don’t represent the values we hold dear as a community.’
Image via Getty Images.