Former Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, fresh off a presidential pardon, said Sunday he would likely "do anything" for President Trump and is willing to take a job in his administration.
"It's tough to turn down a President of the United States when they need you," Arpaio told The Wall Street Journal in some of his first remarks since his pardon.
"I may not turn down this President because I'd probably do anything for him."
Arpaio, 85, said he wasn't looking for a job with the Trump administration but would accept an offer it it came.
The lawless lawman hailed Trump as a President who could go down in history as one of the "greatest" — and he said Republicans have to fall in line.
"They're trying to go after the president," Arpaio said.
Joe Arpaio through the years
Joe Arpaio through the years
Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, in Arizona, and called 'America's Toughest Sheriff', had the controversial idea to set-up a 'Tent City' as an extension of the Maricopa County Jail. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Sygma via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 28: Prisoners dressed in stripped inmate informs walk under the hot Arizona sun at tent city jail opened near Phoenix by the Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio claims to be 'the toughest Sheriff in the United States.' (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP SENSE/AFP/Getty Images)
Teenage inmates inside a tent at the Maricopa County 'Pup Tent City' jail complex for juveniles in Phoenix December 23, 1998. Pup Tents is the third in a series of controversial Tent Cities that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has opened since 1993, all in an effort to ease jail overcrowding, provide more jail space for arrestees and save taxpayers millions of dollars. Males were introduced to Tent City in 1993, and convicted females went into Tents in 1995. The entire complex today houses about 1,400 convicted males and females. (photo by Mike Fiala)
PHOENIX - JULY 8: Barney, a three year old St. Bernard, stares out at inmates who have stopped by his cell for a visit at the jail's fourth floor Maricopa Animal Safe Hospice (MASH) July 8, 2005 in Phoenix, Arizona. 17 female inmates, whom volunteer and go through a formal interview process for the privileged duty of caring for the animals, care for 20 dogs and 31 cats in the five year old program started by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The inmates have two days removed from their jail sentence for each day worked in the unit. The program takes in animals that have been abused, abandoned or are evidence in a criminal case and keeps them until they are adopted. Inmates feed, clean, groom and provide obedience lessons for the 587 animals (dogs, cats, birds, horses) that have gone through the hospice since it began. (Photo by Jeff Topping/Getty Images)
[UNVERIFIED CONTENT] Joe Arpaio, 'America's Toughest Sheriff' at the annual Fiesta del Sol parade in Phoenix.
PHOENIX - FEBRUARY 11: Maricopa County Sheriff Officer Joe Arpaio speaks during a news conference regarding an immigration raid his officers conducted at HMI Contracting February 11, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. Several undocumented workers were arrested after Arpaio ordered the raid on the company, which has a contract with the County Board of Supervisors to do landscaping at county buildings. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 17: Inmates walk as they are moved after being ordered by Maricopa County Sheriff Officer Joe Arpaio (R), looking on, to be placed into new housing to open up new beds for maximum security inmates on April 17, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. Arpaio has been facing criticism from Hispanic activists and lawmakers, alleging that Arpaio's crackdown methods on illegal immigrants involve racial profiling. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 17: Inmates walk as they are moved after being ordered by Maricopa County Sheriff Officer Joe Arpaio to be placed into new housing to open up new beds for maximum security inmates on April 17, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. Arpaio has been facing criticism from Hispanic activists and lawmakers, alleging that Arpaio's crackdown methods on illegal immigrants involve racial profiling. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PHOENIX - APRIL 29: Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to participants of the Border Security Expo on April 29, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Arpaio, promoted by his supporters as 'America's Toughest Sheriff', voiced his support for Arizona's new immigration enforcement law. His deputies conduct frequent sweeps to arrest undocumented immigrants in his county, which includes the state capitol Phoenix. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 17: Maricopa County Sheriff Officer Joe Arpaio's name plate and business cards sit on his desk at his office on April 17, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. Arpaio has been facing criticism from Hispanic activists and lawmakers, alleging that Arpaio's crackdown methods on illegal immigrants involve racial profiling. (Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
PHOENIX - APRIL 30: Undocumented immigrant Jose Hechavaria (R), 43, stands with fellow prisoners in the yard of the Maricopa County Tent City Jail on April 30, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Hechavaria, a 13-year resident of Arizona, said he was arrested by sheriff's deputies on a DUI charge and then held because of his illegal immigration statues. Some 200 undocumented immigrants are currently serving time in the facility. The controversial jail is run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been an outspoken critic of illegal immigration and a supporter of Arizona's new tough immigration law. Prisoners at the facility are fed twice a day, sleep in non-airconditioned tents and are issued striped prison uniforms and pink underwear and socks. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks with a reporter outside his famous tent city jail for misdemeanor offenses May 3, 2010. A few hours later he officially announced he would not be running for Arizona Governor saying, I have come so far and accomplished so much in the past 18 years as Sheriff that to leave now just doesnï¿½t make sense,ï¿½ said Arpaio. 'Right now, we are standing in the cross-hairs of history in this state and as Sheriff of the most populous county in Arizona, there is much work yet to do.' AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Maricopa Country Detention Officer Rene Ansley holds up one of the pink boxer style underware male inmates wear inside Sheriff Joe Arpaio's tent city jail May 3, 2010, in Phoenix, Arizona. The inmates also have matching pink socks. This area of the tent city houses misdemeanor offenders. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
RANCHO BERNARDO, CA - AUGUST 10: Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks during a visit to the Rancho Bernardo Inn on August 10, 2010 in Rancho Bernardo, California. Arpaio, who is Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, gained national attention for using deputies to conduct raids to apprehend illegal immigrants and building large outdoor prison tents to house inmates. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 19: Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks at a Tea Party Express rally at Stoney's Rockin' Country October 19, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tour, part of an initiative to get conservatives elected to the House and Senate, will move across country and conclude on November 1, 2010 in Concord, New Hampshire the day before the contentious mid-term elections (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
CRESTON, IA - DECEMBER 27: Texas governor and Republican candidate for president Rick Perry (C) walks with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (L) before a campaign stop at Adams Street Espresso on December 27, 2011 in Creston, Iowa. With one week to go before the Iowa caucuses, Rick Perry continues his bus tour through Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 11: Immigrant inmates line up for breakfast at the Maricopa County Tent City jail on March 11, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. Striped uniforms and pink undergarments are standard issue at the facility. The tent jail, run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, houses undocumented immigrants who are serving up to one year after being convicted of crime in the county. Although many of immigrants have lived in the U.S for years, often with families, most will be deported to Mexico after serving their sentences. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 11: Immigrant inmates walk for excercise at the Maricopa County Tent City jail on March 11, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. The striped uniforms and pink undergarments are standard issue at the facility. The tent jail, run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, houses undocumented immigrants who are serving up to one year after being convicted of crime in the county. Although many of immigrants have lived in the U.S for years, often with families, most will be deported to Mexico after serving their sentences. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 3: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio salutes Muhannad Al Kusairy during a meeting at his office in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday, June 3, 2013. Al Kusairy is hoping to taking steps to become a Maricopa County Deputy Sheriff once he becomes a citizen. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MARSHALLTOWN, IA - JANUARY 26: Sheriff Joe Arpaio (L) of Maricopa County, Arizona listens as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the press prior to a rally on January 26, 2016 in Marshalltown, Iowa. Arpaio today announced his support for Trump's presidential bid. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is surrounded by protesters and members of the media at the the site of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in downtown Cleveland on the second day of the convention on July 19, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Many people have stayed away from downtown due to road closures and the fear of violence. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio gestures to the crowd while delivering a speech on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:
Sheriff Joe Arpaio exits the stage after delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, July 21, 2016. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19: Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio takes part in the convention openings on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
"He's a great guy and I'm with him and will always be with him. I'm sad what they're doing to him. It's sad."
Trump has weathered fierce criticism from Republicans and Democrats — including both of Arizona's GOP Senators — for pardoning Arpaio, an ally with a dark history of racism and abuse.
Arpaio was set to serve up to six months in jail for violating a court order to stop the discriminatory policing his office inflicted on Latinos in Maricopa County.
Multiple civil rights lawsuits have accused Arpaio of targeting Latinos and subjecting inmates to violence and humiliation that violated their constitutional rights. Arpaia once boasted about how he considered his harsh "Tent City" jail to be a "concentration camp."
Arpaio bonded with Trump over their hard-line opposition to illegal immigrants. Both of them also promoted the false "birther" conspiracy theory about former President Barack Obama being born outside of the United States.
Arpaio last year lost the sheriff's election to Democratic candidate Paul Penzone. Arpaio's next plans remain unknown and members of the Trump administration have said little about the pardon.
Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert on Sunday waved off all criticism about Trump's decision and blamed the media for giving it "disproportionate coverage."
"I'm pretty certain...that this is not something that is going to threaten our constitutional order," Bossert said on ABC News' "This Week."
Officials react to Trump's first presidential pardon
Officials react to Trump's first presidential pardon
Sen. John McCain of Arizona: Trump "undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law" with the Arpaio pardon.
Sen. John McCain said in a statement on Friday:
"No one is above the law and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold. Mr. Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for continuing to illegally profile Latinos living in Arizona based on their perceived immigration status in violation of a judge’s orders. The President has the authority to make this pardon, but doing so at this time undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions."
In this photo: Sen. John McCain on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 12, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: A "mockery of rule of law."
Jeff Flake, the junior Arizona senator, said Trump should have let "the judicial process ... take its course."
Jeff Flake's primary challenger Kelli Ward applauded Trump and called Arpaio's actions as sheriff "heroic."
Arizona 7th Congressional District Rep. Ruben Gallego: Trump "blessed Arpaio's racist and unconstitutional police practices."
Gallego said: "By pardoning Joe Arpaio, Donald Trump has blessed Arpaio's racist and unconstitutional police practices. Trump's pardon of Arpaio is unconscionable and unworthy of the White House. This is Trump's first pardon of a crony. Will it be his last?"
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates: Trump just revealed "his own contempt for our Constitution."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump "used the cover of the storm," referring to Hurricane Harvey, to pardon Arpaio.
Schumer said: "As millions of people in TX and LA are prepping for the hurricane, the President is using the cover of the storm to pardon a man who violated a court's order to stop discriminating against Latinos and nan courageous transgender men and women from serving our nation's Armed Forces. So sad, so weak."
"Instead of seeking to unify the country as promised, POTUS has doubled down on encouraging white supremacists post-Charlottesville. Joe Arpaio ignored the courts and the rule of law in order to systematically target Latinos in AZ. The definition of racism and bigotry."
Vanita Gupta, head of the Leadership Conference of Civil and Human Rights: Trump has "yet again damaged himself."
WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after President Donald Trump issued a pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
“Instead of a dog whistle, President Trump picked up a bull horn and let out a hateful shout tonight when he pardoned someone who personifies the same bigotry and intolerance we witnessed in Charlottesville. For more than two decades, Sheriff Arpaio terrorized and profiled Arizona’s Latino citizens, was finally voted out of office, and was convicted for failing to follow a court order to cease his unlawful, racist policing.
The white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and others the president excused heard his endorsement of racist and illegal policing policies loud and clear yet again. Trump has, yet again, damaged himself, the rule of law, and our country tonight. This pardon sends a dangerous message that a law enforcement officer who abused his position of power and defied a court order can simply be excused by a president who himself clearly does not respect the law.”
In this photo, Vanita Gupta is seen in the Washington D.C., on December 16, 2016. Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut: This is a "middle finger to America."
Republican strategist and conservative commentator Ana Navarro: "It's another slap in the face to the Latino community."
"This is a slap in the face to the Latino community, to most of us in the Latino community — perhaps not the guy who hates taco trucks — but a lot of other Latinos see Joe Arpaio as a symbol of racism of discrimination, of racial profiling, of abuses of civil rights, and the president of the United States has seen fit to pardon him today in a very extraordinary move, and I think he didn't do it in Arizona earlier in the week because he knew all hell would break loose.
Because he knew there would be thousands of impromptu protesters that would have shown up outside that rally to protest that act and what it would have meant. That's why the mayor of Phoenix warned him not to go to Arizona, because he was afraid that he was going to pardon Joe Arpaio. and what that would mean in that community — turning it into another Charlottesville.
So we have a president of the United States, a so-called president of the United States — I call him president of the divided states — that in the last two weeks, has stood with racists, with white supremacists, with neo-Nazis, and now with this man who is a symbol for civil rights abuses and racial profiling. He is the President of 34 percent of Americans, that's about it."
In this photol, Ana Navarro (L) appears in New York City on October 27, 2016. Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for New York Times
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse:
"Arpaio systemically discriminated against AZ Latinos in defiance of our Constitution and ignored our courts," Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse said on Friday. "He does not deserve a pardon."
"Now is a time to bind the wounds left by white nationalists’ repugnant attacks in Charlottesville. Instead, President Trump has again doubled down on the side of ignorance, bigotry, intolerance, and hate."
The American Civil Liberties Union said the pardon is a "presidential endorsement of racism."
"President Trump has pardoned former Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, who was found guilty of criminal contempt for deliberately violating a federal court order that prohibited illegal detentions based only on suspicions about immigration status.
The ruling stems from an initial lawsuit brought by Latino residents of Maricopa who successfully challenged Arpaio’s policies of racial profiling and illegal detentions. The plaintiff class was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and partner organizations. Arpaio repeatedly flouted court orders in that civil rights case, leading to both civil and criminal contempt rulings against him.
ACLU Deputy Legal Director Cecillia Wang said:
'With his pardon of Arpaio, Trump has chosen lawlessness over justice, division over unity, hurt over healing. Once again, the president has acted in support of illegal, failed immigration enforcement practices that target people of color and have been struck down by the courts. His pardon of Arpaio is a presidential endorsement of racism.'"
Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone: "Eat it, liberals!"
Rep. Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts: "Nobody is above the law. Period."
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla: "Another attack on American values."
Read Padilla's full statement on the Arpaio pardon below:
SACRAMENTO – California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released the following statement in response to President Trump's pardon of former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio:
"As if his abhorrent behavior wasn't enough regarding Charlottesville, today Trump doubled down on his endorsement of racism in America.
Mr. Trump's pardoning of Joe Arpaio is another attack on American values and makes a mockery of our justice system. Joe Arpaio is a convicted felon who openly promoted racial profiling and discrimination against American citizens who are Latina and Latino.
This pardon further divides our nation, fuels bigotry and undermines the rule of law. How long will our legislative leaders in Washington stand by and do nothing?"
In this photo, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla speaks appears on July 19, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Trump's critics have disagreed, with some saying the pardon is one of Trump's biggest blows to America's justice system.
Arizona Sen. John McCain said Trump's pardon "undermines his claim for the respect of rule of law."
Trump flouted pardoning conventions when he granted Arpaio freedom.
U.S. Justice Department guidelines recommend pardons be earned by demonstrating "good conduct for a substantial period of time after conviction and service of sentence." It also says petitioners must wait at least five years after conviction or release before requesting a pardon.
Arpaio's clemency came only weeks after his conviction, and less than two months before he was supposed to be sentenced.
Since walking free, the rogue sheriff has not acknowledged any wrongdoing.