Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio is not certain he would call Senator John McCain a hero, but he is positive that another Republican politician fits the bill: President Donald Trump.
The Senate candidate told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt that he never had a hero before Trump came on the political scene.
Hunt if he considers John McCain, the U.S. senator from Arizona who died on Saturday, to be a patriot.
“Yes,” Arpaio responded.
Hunt followed up asking if the former sheriff views McCain as a hero:
“That’s hard for me to answer,” Arpaio said. “Because I never had a hero in my life until several months ago when I woke up after 75 years, and I found my hero. You know who that person is? Donald Trump.”
Arpaio’s affinity for Trump is unsurprising, given their shared disdain for immigrants and the fact that the president pardoned Arpaio last year.
Arpaio, 86, who gained national fame and notoriety for his aggressive pursuit of undocumented immigrants in Maricopa County, was pardoned by Trump a year ago after having emerged as a major campaign supporter during the 2016 election.
Arpaio was convicted in July 2017 of criminal contempt of court for ignoring a judge’s order to stop detaining people because he merely suspected them of being undocumented.