Hours before President Donald Trump’s rally in Phoenix, Arizona, the White House made it clear that Sheriff Joe Arpaio wouldn’t be pardoned.

But during his largely off-script speech tonight, Trump promised to protect Sheriff Joe, and predicted he’s “going to be just fine.” This means a pardon will happen, and soon.

And the crowd’s reaction is priceless! WATCH:

Sheriff Arpaio was convicted after defying a state judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants.

As Fox News reports:

President Trump may soon issue a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the colorful former Arizona sheriff who was found guilty two weeks ago of criminal contempt for defying a state judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants. In his final years as Maricopa County sheriff, Arpaio had emerged as a leading opponent of illegal immigration.

“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” the president said Sunday, during a conversation with Fox News at his club in Bedminster, N.J. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”

Trump said the pardon could happen in the next few days, should he decide to do so.

This is extraordinary:

This is a breaking news story. We will add more details as they become available.

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