Former sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to ABC15 about his pardon from President Trump

Posted at 5:14 AM, Aug 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 13:29:01-04

For the first time since the controversial pardon, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is speaking to ABC15.

Arpaio tells us, he found out about the pardon just a few hours before the rest of the world did when the White House made the announcement late Friday.

Supporters were quick to commend President Trump and critics were swift in their responses as well, including Arizona Senator John McCain.

McCain released a statement, blasting President Donald Trump's decision, saying in part, "POTUS' pardon of Joe Arpaio, who illegally profiled Latinos, undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law."

Arpaio, now opening up about McCain's statement.

"He should be on my side," says Arpaio.

Arpaio went on to say, "I'm really shocked he's taking a shot at me. Once again, I think he's just trying to get to the President of the United States, and that's sad that he's using me for that."

When asked if he thought McCain was using him as a political pawn, Arpaio said, "Of course. No matter that the President does he [McCain] criticizes him, so why not criticize him on this?"

ABC15 reached out to Sen. McCain's team to get his response to Arpaio's comments.