The mayor of Phoenix isn't happy about an August 22 Trump rally planned in his city. The rally, announced on Wednesday – a day after Trump blamed "both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville last weekend – will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center. Mayor Greg Stanton doesn't like the decision, saying, "I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville."
Besides riling up his base, there may also be another reason for Trump's visit to Phoenix. Earlier this week Trump told Fox News that he is considering pardoning 85-year-old former Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted of disobeying a judge's order to stop targeting immigrants in traffic stops.
Based on Arpaio's age, however, legal experts believe he wouldn't spend any time behind bars. Critics also note that a presidential pardon from Trump would be a tacit endorsement of discriminatory policing policies. Stanton echoed those sentiments, saying, "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 inflame emotions and further divide our nation."
Stanton isn't the only Arizona political figure opposed to Trump's planned rally. U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, called Trump "unhinged" and vowed to lead a counter protest at the Phoenix Convention Center.
If he announces the pardon in Phoenix that's just going to escalate things 10x, because he'll look 10x more racist.— Mike Helfenbein (@mdhelfenbein) August 17, 2017
I should note: The Mayor doesn't seem to be empowered to prevent Trump renting the space in his city. But he's asking him not to come.— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) August 17, 2017
Pardoning Arpaio is part of the planned escalation of white supremacist violence to silence any opposition.— RH (@Petacazo) August 17, 2017
Good job Mayor. Thanks for standing up for your city.— Moral Liberal (@frazier_annik) August 17, 2017