Speaking from the White House Monday during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, President Donald Trump defended his Friday night pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
"I stand by my pardon of Sheriff Joe," Trump said. “He's done a great job for the people of Arizona. He's very strong on borders, very strong on illegal immigration, he is loved in Arizona...Sheriff Joe is a patriot. Sheriff Joe loves our country. Sheriff Joe protected our borders."
Trump went on to argue Arpaio was unfairly targeted by the Obama administration while cracking down illegal immigration in the Phoenix area.
"I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly when they [Obama DOJ] came down with their big decision to go after him right before the election voting started," Trump said.
Further, he reminded press in the room of the controversial pardons and commutations handed down by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
"President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich, who was charged with crimes going back decades, including illegally buying oil from Iran while it held 53 American hostages," Trump said. "President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who leaked countless sensitive and classified documents to Wikileaks, perhaps some others. Horrible, horrible thing that he did, commuted the sentence."
"President Obama commuted the sentence of Oscar Lopez Rivera, who was charged as part of a violent, independent group from Puerto Rico responsible for 48 Chicago area bombings and many deaths in the 1970s and 1980s," he continued.
Arpaio says he isn't going away anytime soon and may even run for Senate against Trump rival Jeff Flake.