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Phoenix Mayor Unhappy With Trump Rally 08/17 06:09

   PHOENIX (AP) -- President Donald Trump plans to rally supporters in Phoenix 
next week, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is not happy about it.

   Trump's campaign announced the event Wednesday --- a day after the president 
blamed "both sides" for weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, between 
white supremacists and counter-demonstrators.

   The Aug. 22 rally will take place at the Phoenix Convention Center, the 
campaign said. Trump tweeted about the event Wednesday night with a link for 
ticket availability.

   "I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally 
as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville," 
Stanton said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "It is my hope that more sound 
judgment prevails and that he delays his visit."

   The president has been holding campaign-style events in Trump-friendly areas 
since he took office. Next week's rally will be his first in the West.

   Trump told Fox News in an interview this week that he may pardon former 
metro Phoenix Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who recently was convicted in federal court 
for disobeying a judge's order to stop his traffic patrols that targeted 
immigrants. A federal judge ruled in 2013 that Arpaio's officers had racially 
profiled Latinos.

   Arpaio, 85, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5 and faces up to six months 
in jail. Attorneys who have followed the case doubt someone his age would be 
incarcerated, however.

   Critics say a pardon would amount to an endorsement of racism.

   "If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former 
Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame 
emotions and further divide our nation," Stanton said.

   U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, has announced he'll be leading a counter 
protest outside the Phoenix Convention Center during Trump's rally, the Arizona 
Daily Star reported Wednesday.

   In a six-minute video posted on YouTube, the newspaper said Grijalva called 
Trump unhinged and the congressman from Tucson labeled the president as a 
supporter of racists.

   Trump last held a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center Aug. 31, 2016, 
ahead of the presidential election and detailed his plan to combat illegal 
immigration.

   He lambasted millions of immigrants as violent criminals and a drain on the 
U.S. government. Trump vowed at that time that no person living in the United 
States illegally would have a path to legal status without first leaving the 
country.


(KA)

 
 
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