Trevor Noah on Donald Trump: 'For a guy who's not racist, he has a lot of racist friends'

Comedian argues President Trump's controversial decision sends the message his allies are above the law

Trevor Noah discusses Donald Trump's pardoning of Jeff Arpaio

Virtually all of Donald Trump’s gaffes are superseded by incisive diatribes from Trevor Noah. As has become routine the Daily Show host has now taken aim at the US president for pardoning former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.

President Trump drew criticism from across the political spectrum for pardoning the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America” who was found guilty last month of refusing to follow a judge’s order barring him from racially profiling Latinos.

Noah went a step further than leading congressional Republican critics and argued President Trump’s controversial decision sent a clear message his allies are above and beyond the law.

“You know for a guy who’s not racist, Donald Trump sure has a lot of racist friends,” the comedian remarked.

Mr Arpaio, who lost a bid for re-election in Arizona's Maricopa County in November after 24 years in office, was famed for his hardline position on immigration. A Department of Justice expert described Mr Trump's key political ally as overseeing the worst pattern of racial profiling in US history.

Mr Arpaio, who once referred to his infamous Tent City prison as a concentration camp, reinstated chain gangs, made inmates wear uniforms that were pink or old-fashioned black and white stripes and barred them from having salt, pepper and coffee.

During a segment titled “Profile in Tremendousness” dedicated specifically to Arpaio, Noah argued the former sheriff was “anti-being a decent human being.”

He said: “Yes, the man Trump pardoned is regarded by many as one of the worst sheriffs in America. Worse than Sheriff Clarke, worse than Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane, worse than the sheriff Bob Marley shot in his song - and that guy was a d**k, that guy was a real d**k. I mean, Bob Marley was super chill. If he killed you, you had it coming”.

He added: “This guy’s bad news. And now, Sheriff Arpaio’s abuses of power didn’t just hurt the inmates at his prisons, they also hurt the taxpayers who had to foot the bill.”

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During Mr Arpaio’s tenure as sheriff, taxpayers were forced to cover $142 million in legal fees, settlements, and compliance fees related to cases against him and his office. This included two wrongful-death suits and a number of civil-rights and discrimination suits.

Noah said: “Just think about that for a second: $142 million spent because of him. Think about all the other things that money could have bought: schools, or roads, or they could have just paid Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor to punch Joe Arpaio in the face. That is a lot of money.”

He continued: “And now, here’s what may surprise you. All that shit that Arpaio did, that’s not why he needed a pardon. No, those were just his extracurriculars. It turns out his full-time job was racism.”

He argued the president's decision to pardon him signalled the fact he would repay loyalty, saying: “It feels like Trump did this not just to reward Arpaio’s loyalty, but to send a message to all his other cronies from the campaign - Hey, guys, good news. We get our own set of laws.”

Mr Arpaio, who President Trump repeatedly praised during his campaign, is known for investigating groundless, unsubstantiated Trump-supported claims questioning former President Barack Obama's citizenship.

President Trump pardoned Arpaio on Friday evening, saying his "50 years of admirable service to our Nation” demanded the decision.

“Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” the White House said in a statement.

Prior to the pardon, the American Civil Liberties Union, which sought the court injunction against Mr Arpaio, said it would be "a presidential endorsement of racism."

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