“I am not going to defend Donald Trump—not now, not in the future.”
You may have already seen the never-before-released private October conference call with House Republican members, House Speaker Paul Ryan told his members in the U.S. House of Representatives he was abandoning then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump forever and would never defend him ever again.
Paul Ryan’s conference call with House Republicans 10.10.16
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) issued a statement through his spokesperson on Saturday saying that he did not agree with the pardon, and that he believes that the pardon sent a message that a law-enforcement officer’s responsibility is diminished.
Ryan’s statement was published in the Wall Street Journal. The White House did not respond.
“The speaker does not agree with the decision. Law-enforcement officials have a special responsibility to respect the rights of everyone in the United States. We should not allow anyone to believe that responsibility is diminished by this pardon.”
Ryan is the highest-ranking Republican to criticize Trump’s decision to pardon Arpaio.
Arpaio was a controversial figure even before he was convicted of contempt charges. He referred to one of his jails as “concentration camp”.
Unlike Ryan, Arizona Republicans, including Rep. Trent Franks, are supportive of the pardon, who called Arpaio a “patriot.”
“In his last days, (President) Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning — a treasonous intelligence analyst who shared a trove of intelligence with the infamous Wikileaks,” Franks, R-Ariz., said Saturday in a statement to Fox News.
“While no one can dispute Manning acted to undermine our country’s national security, Joe Arpaio has spent a lifetime trying to maintain it. … It is easy to discern that Arpaio is a patriot, while Manning is a traitor.”
The White House made a similar argument in issuing the pardon.
The White House said Friday that the 85-year-old Arpaio was a “worthy candidate” for the pardon, citing his “life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration.”