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Report: Trump says he might pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Last Updated Aug 15, 2017 8:32 AM EDT

President Trump says he's considering pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was recently convicted of ignoring a U.S. court order to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.

"I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio," Mr. Trump said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to the outlet. 

"He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He's a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him," the president added.

Arpaio, 85, was charged with criminal contempt last October for ignoring a judge's order in a racial profiling case. He's scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 5 and could face up to six months in jail.

In this Dec. 18, 2013, photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at a news conference at the sheriff's headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz.

In this Dec. 18, 2013, photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at a news conference at the sheriff's headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz.

AP

The former sheriff endorsed Mr. Trump for the GOP presidential nomination in January 2016.

"Donald Trump is a leader. He produces results and is ready to get tough in order to protect American jobs and families. I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration. I know Donald Trump will stand with me and countless Americans to secure our border. I am proud to support him as the best candidate for President of the United States of America," Arpaio said in a statement at the time.

Arpaio served as sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County from 1993 until this past January.