Phoenix Mayor Urges Trump to Delay Rally in His City

by | August 17, 2017 AT 10:40 AM

By Joe Ferguson

President Trump will hold a rally Tuesday night, Aug. 22, at the Phoenix Convention Center, administration officials announced Wednesday.

The president has been holding campaign-style events in Trump-friendly areas since he took office. Next week's rally will be his first in the West.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is not happy about the visit.

"I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville," Stanton said in a statement. "It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit."

Hours after the Trump announcement, U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva said in a six-minute YouTube video that he will be leading a counterprotest outside the rally.

The Tucson Democrat called Trump "unhinged" following the president's comments about the violence in Charlottesville.

Grijalva said he is also concerned that Trump will pardon former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during his visit to Phoenix. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for ignoring a court order to stop detaining suspected illegal immigrants. He faces up to six months in prison.

Trump told Fox News in an interview this week that he may pardon Arpaio. A federal judge ruled in 2013 that Arpaio's officers had racially profiled Latinos.

Critics say a pardon would amount to an endorsement of racism.

"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 said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

(c)2017 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)