CNN contributor Ana Navarro reacted on Sunday after President Donald Trump announced he would pardon Arizona ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is known for his harsh enforcement and anti-immigrant actions.
"For the vast majority of Latinos, Joe Arpaio is a symbol of racism," Navarro explained to CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday. "Of anti-immigrant sentiment and abuse of power. And this is the guy that Donald Trump chose to pardon."
Navarro argued that the president was sending a dangerous message to law enforcement: "Here, government officials are held accountable for when they behave like thugs. The message that he's sending with this pardon to other government officials, to other law enforcement officials is a very bad message."
Former Trump adviser Michael Caputo disagreed because he said that President Barack Obama had "weaponized" the Department of Justice against Arpaio. "We're not going to stand for political persecution," he insisted.
"It's his right to pardon," Navarro agreed. "He took extraordinary steps, he did not take the advice of the Justice Department. And another message that he's sending... you know, this issue that's been reported that he asked [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions if they could drop the case against Arpaio. That is bone-chilling. And let us remember that James Comey told us exactly the same thing."
Navarro brought the conversation back to Special Counsel Mueller's probe of Russia, noting that Trump may have invited another obstruction of justice investigation.
"How is asking a question of your cabinet an abuse of power?" Caputo complained. "That's not abuse of power."
"Listen," Navarro snapped. "Donald Trump does not do simple inquiries. James Comey was not a simple inquiry."
Before the segment concluded, both Navarro and Caputo raised their voices as he questioned her Republican bona fide.
"I was a Republican when the president was a Democrat," she said. "And I was a Republican when a president you support was an independent."
Caputo accused her of supporting Democrat candidates. Navarro fired back: "So has Jared Kusner, so has Ivanka Trump, so has Donald Trump."
"Does that bother you?" she asked. "Can you spell hypocrisy? Or should I spell it out for you?"