Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) defended President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio saying that there was a difference between “racial profiling and broader profiling.”
Partial transcript as follows:
CUOMO: All right, look, the law gets tricky and I think this is more about the morality than the legality, frankly. I’ll talk to you about the law in one second. But this is about morality. SB-1070 got knocked down the Supreme Court in part, not completely. You’re allowed to ask for immigration documentation in the enforcement of other laws. Joe Arpaio wasn’t doing that. He was cited by the Justice Department for rounding up people who looked like they could be illegal immigrants. It screamed of profiling. It wasn’t a new practice and you know this. You know who Joe Arpaio is and was. So do I. This wasn’t about the law because the law is — the federal government does immigration not the states. You can’t be in contradiction to federal law. And federal law doesn’t allow profiling. That’s what Joe Arpaio was doing. Two different judges said it.
KING: Well, actually I disagree to a degree, Chris. And the first thing is that who would have imagined that the federal government who had support from a state that passed a statute that was designed to match up exactly with federal laws so they could support federal law, who would have imagined that later on the Supreme Court would find parts of that unconstitutional? I don’t agree with their decision, but Joe Arpaio couldn’t have known that when he put his program in place. Joe Arpaio was living underneath the 2807-G or with the —
CUOMO: But that’s why he was told —
KING: — federal authorization to enforce immigration law and there is no federal law against profiling.
CUOMO: Well, first of all.
CUOMO: Profiling is wrong. It is found wrong under the law. It is found wrong as a practice by the Justice Department. That is what they told Joe Arpaio he was doing and they said stop it.
KING: I don’t agree.
CUOMO: What don’t you agree with?
KING: I don’t agree that profiling is wrong. In fact, if you would take profiling away from the tools of law enforcement you couldn’t describe a criminal in any way whatsoever.
CUOMO: No, no, no hold on.
CUOMO: What happens when you profile?
KING: — racial profiling and profiling. Let’s not generalize. There’s a difference between racial profiling and broader profiling with all of the descriptions that are there.
KING: And I say it’s wrong to and the Justice Department has —
KING: — issue to direct and says you shall not racially profile if that’s the only component. CUOMO: How is that not —
CUOMO: What broader profile? He was rounding up brown people. He was rounding up brown people some of whom wind up being citizens, and that’s what his guys were doing and what did his defense lawyer say? You know, what they wind up saying after all the bravado —
KING: The implication is.
CUOMO: After all the bravado to reporters saying I’m going to continue, I don’t care what the judges say. That’s called contempt by definition, by the way. And this is supposed to be a law and order presidency.
KING: And I don’t agree with him —
CUOMO: — hold on a second, congressman. If you don’t agree with him defining the federal judge, then you agree with him being convicted of that crime because that’s what he was convicted of.
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