Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton says he’s “disappointed” President Donald Trump wants to host a campaign-style rally in the city little more than a week after the violence that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville,” Stanton wrote in a statement Wednesday. “It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit.”
Trump promoted tickets for the event, scheduled for Tuesday at Phoenix’s Convention Center, on Twitter Wednesday night.
Stanton used the statement to also note his disapproval with the president possibly using the Phoenix rally to announce a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff facing sentencing after being found guilty of criminal contempt for violating a state judge’s order to cease racially profiling against Latino drivers.
Trump told Fox News this week that he was “seriously considering” pardoning the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Phoenix is part of Maricopa County.
Stanton said such a move by Trump one week after the violence in Charlottesville would show the president’s intention to “enflame emotions and further divide our nation.”
The Washington Post noted the unprecedented nature of Stanton’s statement.
“It was hard to remember when, if ever, the mayor of a major city asked a sitting president to stay out of town lest he cause trouble,” the Post’s Fred Barbash wrote.
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