Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke took a job as a senior adviser and spokesman for America First Action, a pro-President Donald Trump super PAC, after he resigned from his job as sheriff last week.
The announcement came after Clarke was shut out from a job within the Trump administration by new chief of staff John Kelly, as The New York Times reported.
“It’s truly an honour to join the America First Action team, most importantly because we share the same values that most hard-working, law-abiding Americans do,” Clarke said in a statement released by America First Action. “It gives me the chance to do what I love most — promote President Trump’s agenda, including his fierce support for the American law enforcement officer, and ensure that the will of the American people who got President Trump elected is not derailed by the left or the self-serving Washington establishment.”
Clarke will be appearing on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s program Tuesday night to discuss his new role, according to the release.
The sheriff gained a national profile during the 2016 presidential campaign through his vociferous support of Trump. Known for his often inflammatory rhetoric, the sheriff made countless TV appearances, particularly on Fox News, to defend and support Trump. Trump has returned the favour, regularly praising the sheriff and having him speak at both the 2016 Republican National Convention and his campaign rallies.
“A great book by a great guy, highly recommended!” Trump wrote.
Clarke was reportedly offered a job in the Department of Homeland Security earlier this year, though the Trump administration never formally announced it. Clarke himself told a Wisconsin radio host during an interview that he had accepted a job, only to later withdraw his acceptance following a plagiarism controversy that was uncovered by CNN. The outlet reported that Clarke failed to properly cite sources in his master’s thesis.
The polarising law enforcement figure’s resignation from his sheriff job came suddenly and without explanation as to why he decided to step down from the position he held for 15 years. Clarke has additionally gained notoriety for his brutal jails, in which a handful of inmates, including a newborn baby, have died during the past two years.
Since becoming a darling of conservative media, Clarke was spending less time on the day-to-day operations of the sheriff’s office, instead focusing more on his national profile.
“You do have to come home at least once in a while,” Charlie Sykes, a retired conservative Wisconsin radio host who’s known Clarke for roughly 20 years, told Business Insider earlier this year. “And all you do is speak out on [crime], that’s been the wrap on him. Big hat, no cattle. Talks a big game but he doesn’t actually do a lot of stuff.”
After he came out in support of Trump, Sykes said Clarke was “routinely AWOL.”
“He has to run a law-enforcement department, which has very specific responsibilities, and a city that has had a really, really tough year,” Sykes said. “And when he gets involved, it often has an almost gratuitous, grandstanding sense to it.”
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