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Trump touts Suffolk sheriff’s praise for his support of police

President Donald Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly

President Donald Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly in New London, Conn., May 17, 2017. Credit: AP / Susan Walsh

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted, for the second time in four days, a Fox News clip of Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco praising the administration for boosting law enforcement officers.

DeMarco had sat down with “Fox and Friends” on the morning of Trump’s Friday visit to Brentwood, where the president voiced his support of uniformed officers and their fight against the MS-13 street gang.

“No doubt about it. For the past eight years, cops have been made to feel like they were the problem, and they’re really the solution, and President Trump has stood behind them,” DeMarco said in the interview.

Trump first tweeted the DeMarco interview Friday as he returned to Washington, D.C. from Long Island.

On Monday morning, he retweeted a “Fox and Friends” post with the same sit-down.

DeMarco told Newsday on Monday that he was a “little surprised, but in a good way” to be featured on the president’s popular Twitter account.

The sheriff said he has not yet met Trump.

He lauded the president for shoring up morale.

“When he was done, I was fired up,” DeMarco recalled of Trump’s speech at Suffolk Community College. “It just feels good to have the president of the United States telling law enforcement how proud of them he is and how much he appreciates the work they do.”

DeMarco, who is not running for re-election, is under consideration to be a Trump appointee to the U. S. Marshal’s office in Manhattan, local political officials have said.

The sheriff told Newsday he did not take issue with part of Trump’s speech saying police and other law enforcement officers should be rougher on detainees.

DeMarco called the remarks an “attempt at cop humor.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said Monday she believes the president was trying to be funny.

“Please don’t be too nice,” Trump had said. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car, and you’re protecting their head — the way you put the hand over — like don’t hit their head, and they’ve just killed somebody, don’t hit their head? I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK.’”

The statement met applause from the rank-and-file officers at the event, but also immediate pushback from the Suffolk County police and the NYPD, among other departments.

“As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners,” the Suffolk County Police Department said.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said: “To suggest that police officers apply any standard in the use of force other than what is reasonable and necessary is irresponsible, unprofessional and sends the wrong message to law enforcement as well as the public.”

DeMarco said Trump’s remarks were well-received by the crowd of blue.

“I think he was trying to be funny and he was playing to a law enforcement crowd,” the sheriff said. “I am 100 percent sure that the president is not advocating for abusing prisoners.”

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