CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Rep. Steve King Battle on Arpaio Pardon: What He Did ‘Screamed of Profiling’


CNN’s Chris Cuomo spoke with Congressman Steve King (R-IA) on Monday night, though their discussion became a rowdy exchange where the two of them sparred over President Trump‘s decision to pardon Joe Arpaio.

King argued that the case against Arpaio for racial-profiling was a politically-motivated ploy by the Obama Justice Department, and Arpaio was doing his job by enforcing the law. Cuomo, for his part, noted that Arpaio’s criminal contempt occurred because the Arizona sheriff refused to obey court orders to stop targeting Latinos he suspected of being illegal immigrants.

King and Cuomo proceeded to lock horns about how racial profiling impacts law enforcement, with Cuomo arguing that Arpaio went after people primarily on a racial basis. Cuomo also found it interesting that Trump could pardon Arpaio for his blatant contempt of court after all the mogul’s talk of being the “law and order” president.

“You’re allowed to ask for immigration documentation in the enforcement of other laws,” Cuomo said. “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.”

At one point, King said he didn’t agree with the idea that profiling is “wrong” when it comes to law enforcement. He and Cuomo continued to tussle about whether Arpaio broke the law by disobeying a federal judge, and how does race factor into enforcing immigration.

At one point, Cuomo said King was defending Arpaio because “you like what he was doing,” and the CNN anchor eventually brought up King’s controversial remarks about Latinos and their “cantaloupe calves.” King argued that he reserves the right to insult drug smugglers, though Cuomo argued with him about the concerns that come when using peoples’ physicality to make broad assumptions while enforcing the law.

“When you judge some and you make them a reflection of all it’s a slippery slope,” said Cuomo. “It creates an ugly reality. Joe Arpaio reveled in that. He liked disgracing Latino people. He liked to separate them, he called the tent city as concentration camps…”

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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