Controversial Wisconsin sheriff who backed Trump resigns

 

Aug 31 (Reuters) - Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke, an African-American who has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement and was previously under consideration for a position with the Trump administration, has quit his job, an adviser said on Thursday.

Clarke, who spoke at the Republican National Convention last summer and campaigned for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in the run-up to his election, submitted his resignation Thursday and would step down at the end of the day, political consultant Craig Peterson said in a telephone interview.

The 38-year-old law enforcement veteran was appointed Milwaukee County sheriff in 2002 and re-elected several times. Although he ran as a Democrat, he moved steadily to the right, and currently supports Trump "a thousand percent," Peterson said.

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Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr.
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Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. departs after a meeting with U.S. President elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower New York, U.S., November 28, 2016.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump talks with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 16, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke salutes at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016.

(REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. arrives to meet with U.S. President elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower New York, U.S., November 28, 2016.

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump talks with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. (L) and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin August 16, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke salutes at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

Sheriff David Clarke speaks before republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during a rally at the KI Convention Center on October 17, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

(TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke flashes a peace sign at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

Sheriff David Clark addresses members of the National Rifle Association during their NRA-ILA Leadership Forum at their annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, May 20, 2016.

(REUTERS/John Sommers II)

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke gestures after speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke (L) exits elevators after meetings with President-elect Donald Trump November 28, 2016 at the Trump Tower in New York.

(EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke speaks during the National Rifle Association's annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee April 10, 2015.

(REUTERS/Harrison McClary)

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Although once under consideration for a position in the Trump administration, Peterson said that was unlikely now. He said Clarke was not doing media interviews on Thursday, but would announce his future plans next week.

Politico, citing two sources familiar with the matter, reported Clarke was still expected to take a job with the Trump administration, however. One of the sources told Politico he was expected to join the White House.

Clarke has become one of the most polarizing critics of the Black Lives Matter movement, which grew out of protests against police killings of unarmed black men.

Clarke said in May that he was taking a job as assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, but the following month media reported that he had withdrawn his acceptance of the job.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Tom Brown)

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