Stars React: Donald Trump Pardons Joe Arpaio

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Joe Arpaio Pardon

By Shari Weiss |

Joe Arpaio Pardon

(Getty Images)

Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio on Friday, and now stars are reacting to the controversial decision. See celebrity Twitter reaction below.

Last month, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for ignoring a court order calling for an end to police patrols that unfairly targeted Latinos. In her ruling, the judge said the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona “not only… abdicate[d] responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise.” He was facing up to six months in prison as punishment, with a sentencing hearing set for October.

But earlier this week, Trump indicated he intended to let Arpaio off the hook, despite his discriminatory racial profiling and illegal behavior. At his Phoenix rally on Tuesday, the president said he wasn’t going to issue the pardon right then and there, but hinted, “I think he’s going to be just fine.” On Friday night, the White House formally announced the presidential pardon, shortly after it was revealed Trump signed a memo banning transgender military recruits. Both decisions sparked immediate criticism on social media.

George Takei tweeted, “Today’s headline: Trump pardons Arpaio. Tomorrow’s headline: Pence pardons Trump.” Debra Messing declared, “A Disgusting Racist Disgrace.” She added, “Trump goes on for 70+ minutes how he is NOT Racist. Then he pardons a court determined convicted law enforcement racist. What an idiot.” Alyssa Milano shared a commentary titled, “Pardon Me, but There’s No Excuse for Pardoning Arpaio.” Mark Ruffalo incredulously said, “This was America’s worst Sheriff letting sexual abuse go unchecked. Now Pardoned!” And “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon posted, “Transgender Ban & Arpaio pardon on the same day, hiding behind the news of Hurricane Harvey. @realDonaldTrump is a hateful, cowardly menace.”

“DT is so incredibly not racist he just pardoned Sherrif Joe Arpaio, who is racist. And technically, an ‘Illegal,'” John Fugelsang wrote. Judd Apatow remarked, “Of every American in prison this is the only one he stands up for. If you do not register to vote today you are insane. @RockTheVote.” And when Trump tweeted, “I am pleased to inform you that I have just granted a full Pardon to 85 year old American patriot Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He kept Arizona safe,” the producer replied, “Pardon Cosby next. He kept America amused. Then pardon Manson. He wrote some good songs. Then OJ. He got a lot of yards.”

Among several tweets on the issue, Jorge Ramos said, “Sheriff Arpaio discriminated against Latinos, violated the Constitution and was found guilty of racial profiling. Now Trump sides with him.” Rosie Perez commented in response, “SAY WHAT?! And #Trump #PARDONED #ARPAIO DURING #HurricanHarvey as if no one would notice? #smh.”

Patricia Arquette told Trump, “1) Pardoning #JoeArpaio is utterly disgusting. 2) #shameonyou for your Transgender ban. 3) Glad your Russian spy quit. #goodluckwiththat.” Chelsea Handler tweeted, “You don’t need to be on CSI MIAMI to notice a little birdie in a tree wants to be removed from office, while still keeping his base. #arpaio.” Lena Dunham asked, “What are we gonna do when Trump pardons Manson?” Rob Reiner tweeted, “DT, not to be upstaged by an act of God, announces future ban of transgenders from military & pardons Arpaio. DT-a truly hateful human being.” Referring to Trump’s embattled senior adviser, Kumail Nanjiani exclaimed, “Gorka resigned! But also Trump shamelessly pardoned Arpaio. Bit from column A, bit from column B.”

And Don Cheadle retweeted writer Bill Kristol, who speculated, “One reason Trump may have pardoned Arpaio now: Gets people used to exercise of pardon power, prepares for pardons of Flynn, Manafort, etc.?” Replied Apatow, “Exactly!! Someone out there has his tax returns. Someone can end all of this. Someone has information that ends this.” Ellen Page also retweeted comments on the pardon, including one from actress and documentarian Grace Parra, who stated, “Arpaio killed primarily Latino inmates by keeping them outside in 124 degree weather. Today, our president defended him. This is sick.”

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