Phoenix mayor: Trump 'did nothing to unite this country'

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) in an interview early Wednesday blasted President Trump, saying his remarks at a campaign-style rally the night before "did nothing to unite the country." 

Stanton told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Trump's remarks about pardoning former Sheriff Joe Arpaio were ill-timed.

"To do a campaign rally here in Phoenix in which he openly talked about pardoning Sheriff Joe [Arpaio], and all that Sheriff Joe had done to terrorize Latino residents here locally," Stanton said, "you put it all together, it just wasn't the right time for a speech like that."

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Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of court in July for refusing to stop detaining suspected illegal immigrants. Trump hinted Tuesday night that he would issue his first pardon for the former Maricopa County sheriff.

“I will make a prediction — I think he's going to be just fine,” Trump said Tuesday. “But I won't do it tonight because I don't want to cause any controversy. Is that okay?”

Stanton said on MSNBC that Trump's comments further divided a nation still recovering from deadly violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

"Unfortunately, last night, the president gave a speech that did continue to divide this country. He did nothing to unite this country, and did indicate he will be pardoning Sheriff Joe," Stanton said. "He decided not to do it at the event last night, but made it clear he was planning on doing it. And that's a real tragedy for the people here in Phoenix."