As much of the country is tracking the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, the Trump administration has taken the term “Friday news dump” to a new level — and the president is getting ripped for it.
Around 8 p.m. ET, the White House announced that Trump granted a presidential pardon to former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Announced two days after the president’s rally in Phoenix, the pardon comes before Arpaio, who spoke at last year’s Republican National Convention, has even been sentenced following his July conviction of criminal contempt for disregarding a court order in a racial profiling case. In defense of the move, the administration is citing Arpaio’s long history of military and law enforcement service.
The Arpaio pardon comes on the heels of Trump officially putting into place his ban of transgender people serving in the military, and simultaneously, as controversial White House aide Sebastian Gorka resigned.
Many celebrities and political figures strongly criticized the moves and their timing on social media, calling the president a “racist,” “monster,” and “disgusting.”
“Transgender Ban & Arpaio pardon on the same day, hiding behind the news of Hurricane Harvey,” tweeted House of Cards creator Beau Willimon. “@realDonaldTrump is a hateful, cowardly menace.”
Read more reactions below.