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 Joe Arpaio
FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio at a campaign event in Marshalltown, Iowa. Arpaio says he isn't asking now President Donald Trump to issue a pardon for his misdemeanor conviction last week for defying a judge's order to stop his immigration patrols, even though he endorsed Trump and shared the stage with him at several rallies during the 2016 campaign. The former six-term sheriff of metro Phoenix said he doesn't expect anything in return for his support of Trump and that he doesn't feel abandoned by the president. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

America's 'toughest sheriff' said he isn't seeking a presidential pardon



President Donald Trump told Fox News he's "seriously considering" issuing a pardon for convicted former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who insists he isn't actively seeking a presidential pardon.

“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” Trump said Sunday. “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.”

Last month Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for defying a 2011 court order to stop his immigration crackdowns, which included traffic stops that specifically targeted immigrants.

After being found guilty, Arpaio said he won't rule out running for office again and remains a dedicated Trump supporter. The former sheriff endorsed Trump during his presidential campaign and the two hold similar viewpoints on immigration.

Arpaio is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 5 and could face up to six months behind bars. The 85-year-old told Fox News he would never ask Trump to pardon him because he doesn't "want to do anything that would hurt the president.”

If Trump decides to pardon Arpaio, it will be the first pardon of his presidency.

The ACLU argued that a pardon from Trump would serve as "an official presidential endorsement of racism."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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