Joe Arpaio, "Concentration Camp" Operator and Senate Candidate, Is Back on His Birtherism

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Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ who once bragged about running a “concentration camp” for undocumented immigrants and announced this week he’ll run to replace Jeff Flake in the Senate, is now resurfacing false and racist claims about the veracity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon with WABC’s Rita Cosby, Arpaio called Obama’s birth certificate “a forgery document.” As a result, Arapio barked on, he’d like to introduce a bill to Congress “so they can pass some type of law, regulation, that when somebody runs for president you ought to check their background, so this won’t happen again.”

It is hardly the first time Arpaio has peddled this conspiracy theory. In 2016, after he was voted out of office, Arpaio told a crowd of reporters that he’d seen analyses of Obama’s birth certificate conducted from two different forensic investigations. The document, he said, is “a fraudulently created [certificate] that has been represented as an official copy of the original.”


President Trump, one of the most profligate voices claiming that Obama was not born in the United States, has publicly referred to Arpaio as an “American patriot.” He pardoned Arpaio last year after the former sheriff was found guilty of criminal contempt, defying a federal court order to stop racially profiling Latino residents.