President Donald Trump made clear to the audience at his Tuesday night rally that he would help former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, implying he might pardon him.
At the rally in Phoenix, Trump discussed the conviction of Arpaio, who was found guilty of contempt of court for not following a court order to refrain from detaining illegal immigrants. The crowd cheered Trump's mention of Arpaio, and the president cast doubt on the legitimacy of the guilty conviction.
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had announced that Trump would not pardon Arpaio on Tuesday night. This, however, did not stop Trump from bringing him up.
"So was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?" Trump asked. "He should have had a jury, but you know what? I'll make a prediction. I think he's going to be just fine. OK?"
Arpaio was not granted a request for a jury in his trial.
"I won't do it tonight because I don't want to cause any controversy," Trump said, presumably referring to pardoning Arpaio. "Is that OK? All right? But Sheriff Joe can feel good."
Rumors have swirled that Trump would be pardoning the sheriff. Arpaio endorsed Trump, and has been a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, one of Trump's primary campaign issues.