Former Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday he would be honored if President Trump decided to pardon him following his recent conviction for criminal contempt of court.
In an interview with NPR, the outspoken sheriff said he hasn't spoken with Trump, but was pleased to see reports that the president is on his side.
"It makes me feel good that at least someone is backing me up. And how much better can you get than president of the United States?" Arpaio told NPR.
Trump told Fox News this week he was "seriously considering" a pardon for Arpaio, who he praised as an "outstanding sheriff."
"He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration," the president told Fox News. "He's a great American patriot, and I hate to see what has happened to him."
A U.S. district judge held Arpaio in criminal contempt of court last month after the Arizona sheriff refused to follow orders from a judge to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants.
"As far as the situation on a pardon, I didn't ask for it but I will accept it if he does do it," Arpaio said. "This president understands what I've been going through. There aren't many politicians around believe me. I learned that real quick over this situation. You don't see anybody next to me and I've endorsed so many people."
Trump will be in Phoenix for a campaign-style rally Tuesday, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton urged the president against announcing a pardon for Arpaio at the event, saying such action would make it "clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation."
Arpaio, though, said he believes Trump will be the greatest president in U.S. history.
"We need him, and I feel sad how they're trying to destroy him," he said. "It makes me sick. I'll tell you one thing, he's got guts and courage, and that's what this country needs."