In Phoenix, Trump Defends Virginia Remarks, Bashes Media

He doesn't pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but implies it's coming soon
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2017 5:03 AM CDT
Trump Defends Virginia Remarks, Bashes Media
President Trump gestures to the crowd while speaking at a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(Newser) – President Trump unleashed a new torrent of criticism on the media Tuesday night over the coverage of his Charlottesville remarks. At a political rally in Phoenix, Trump also stopped short of pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, but strongly he hinted he would do so soon, reports NBC News. "It’s time to expose the crooked-media deceptions and to challenge the media for their role in fomenting divisions," Trump told about 10,000 supporters inside the Phoenix Convention Center, per the Arizona Republic. "For the most part, honestly, these are really, really dishonest people." Trump rehashed his remarks after the Virginia violence, though the New York Times notes that he did not repeat his much-criticized theme that both sides were to blame, and he accused the media of distorting his comments.

"I hit ’em with neo-Nazi. I hit them with everything," said the president. "I got the white supremacists, the neo-Nazi. I got them all in there. Let’s see. KKK, we have KKK," said Trump, who had taken flak for waiting two days to condemn those groups. As for Arpaio, Trump drew a rousing response when he asked of the former Maricopa County sheriff, "Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?" and "Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?" He then added that he wouldn't be pardoning Arpaio on Tuesday night in order to avoid controversy. But "I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine." Outside, police arrested four protesters during the night, reports the AP. Things were mostly peaceful, but officers fired tear gas at the protesters after they say some began throwing objects as the rally was breaking up. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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