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US President Donald Trump speaks to the American Legion national convention on August 23, 2017 in Reno, Nevada. (Phtoto by AFP)

Washington(ANN)-Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters has suggested that US President Donald Trump is a white nationalist and a member of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) for pardoning a former sheriff in Arizona convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving racial profiling.

Days after drawing criticism for refusing to publicly condemn white supremacist groups for attacking counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump prompted a fresh wave of protests by pardoning Joseph Arpaio.

A strong Trump ally, 85-year-old Arpaio was known for his crackdown on undocumented immigrants entering from neighboring Mexico. The presidential pardon came less than a month after he was convicted of criminal contempt in a case involving racial profiling.

“I’m not surprised Trump pardoned racial profiler Arpaio. White Nationalists, KKK, & Duke celebrated Trump’s election b/c he is one of them!” Waters tweeted Saturday.


PressTV-Trump asked Sessions about acquitting Arpaio
The US president had asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the possibility of dropping a criminal case against Joseph Arpaio.


“Trump disrespects minorities, lifts up white nationalists, demeans women & every day finds a way to undermine civil rights. He is deplorable,” she continued.

Water, who represents California’s 43rd congressional district, said the move was “an act of desperation” because Trump “knows the walls are closing in on him,” she further wrote.

Arpaio, who had dubbed himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” lost a bid for re-election in November as sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County after 24 years in office.

Arpaio was convicted on July 31 by a US federal judge, who ruled the elected sheriff had deliberately violated a 2011 court order barring his officers from stopping and detaining Hispanic drivers solely on suspicion that they were in the US illegally.

Republicans react

Meanwhile, Arizona Senator and fierce Trump critic John McCain used the opportunity to blast the decision and note that Arpaio’s pardoning “undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law.”

“The president has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions,” he said after the Friday pardon announcement.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan also expressed his opposition to Trump’s move.


PressTV-Trump promoting ‘textbook racism’: Congressman
A US congressman accuses Donald Trump of promoting “textbook racism” by pardoning a former police officer convicted in racial profiling case.


“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,” said Doug Andres, a spokesman for Ryan.

Trump does not seem to care much about the protests as on Sunday, he renewed calls on the lawmakers to pass his proposal for a wall on the border with Mexico.