Arpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon

Arpaio considering running for former sheriff job after Trump pardon
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Joe Arpaio, the controversial former Maricopa County sheriff, said he’s considering running for his old position in Arizona in 2020 following a pardon from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE.

"I'm very strongly thinking about it, very strongly considering it," Arpaio told ABC News in response to a question about the 2020 elections. "I'll decide next month, and I always have a flare for these sorts of things."

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Trump pardoned Arpaio in 2017 for his conviction on criminal contempt of a federal court after he refused to follow an order that he cease detaining people based on their immigration status.

Arpaio also sparked criticism for housing some of the prisoners under his supervision in outdoor “tent cities” and using so-called chain gangs.

Arpaio also told ABC News that he met with Trump earlier this year, but would not confirm what they discussed. He added that if he were to run he would continue to campaign on false claims that former President Obama was not born in the U.S. 

"I'm not a politician who worries about talking about things because they may lose a few votes. I brought it up in my last election and I'm not going to stop. Why would I stop?" Arpaio said. 

The former sheriff ran in the Republican Senate primary to replace retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeTrump's GOP impeachment firewall holds strong How to survive an impeachment Are Senate Republicans certain that Trump can return to office? MORE (R) but lost to Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyThe Hill's Morning Report - Dem debate contenders take aim at Warren Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever Trump-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing MORE, who was later appointed to the Senate. 

News of Arpaio’s potential run, which would likely also focus on his hard-line views on immigration, comes amid increased scrutiny over the Trump administration’s efforts to boost migrant detentions and deportations and the president’s rhetoric that four congresswomen of color should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Arpaio defended the president, telling ABC News he likely meant that the four women should join the Peace Corps. 

"I'm sure the president was probably saying go back there," Arpaio said. "I can't speak for him. But I'm sure not going to criticize him."

"One deciding factor thing would be is Trump and I will be running again together, just like 2016 but now in 2020," Arpaio added, saying that running for office at the same time as Trump would boost his own campaign.