The president still seems to enjoy his campaign-style rallies, but one local American leader thinks that one in his city wouldn't exactly come at a great time. The mayor of Phoenix Greg Stanton urged Trump to delay a rally that the president is planning on holding in the Arizonan capital, saying that it is coming too soon after the outbreak of violence in Charlottesville.
Greg Stanton released a statement on Twitter, saying that while he supported everyone's First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, he thought that it was too soon after the "tragic events in Charlottesville" to be holding a campaign-style rally. Trump announced the Phoenix rally on Aug. 17, mere days after the deadly violence in Charlottesville — and Trump's controversial comments on the matter.
There is also speculation that Trump will use the trip to Phoenix to pardon Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona county sheriff who was recently convicted of criminal contempt. Arpaio faces up to six months in prison after refusing to stop racially profiling Latinos in his immigration patrols, despite a federal judge ordering him to do so.
There have been reports that Trump is considering using his first presidential pardon on Arpaio. The sheriff ardently supported Trump during the election, and Trump labeled Arpaio "a great American patriot" who has "done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration."
Stanton said in his statement that he was especially worried about Trump's campaign rally because of the possibility that he could announce Arpaio's pardoning there. "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 wrote.
If Trump pardons Arpaio, it will be clear that he does not regard racial profiling as a problem — a stance that would definitely draw more ire from those who are already disappointed and angry about his failure to adequately denounce the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville.
Stanton seems to be preparing his city for the worst, also saying in the statement that the Phoenix police would be doing their utmost to keep everyone safe. A potential Trump rally could face resistance elsewhere, as Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva has announced that he will be holding a counter-protest outside of the convention center where Trump's rally will most likely take place.
After displaying how unwilling he is to listen to people telling him what to do, it seems unlikely that Trump will take any heed of Stanton's request that "more sound judgement [prevail]." If the two rallies do in fact take place as planned on Tuesday, we can only hope that the attendees will stay as peaceful as possible.