Trump pardons Dinesh D’Souza, who will appear at Florida GOP summit

Sheryl Acquarola, a 16 year-old junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is overcome with emotion in the east gallery of the House of Representatives after the representatives voted not to hear the bill banning assault rifles and large capacity magazines at the Florida Capital in Tallahassee on Tuesday. [AP]
Sheryl Acquarola, a 16 year-old junior from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is overcome with emotion in the east gallery of the House of Representatives after the representatives voted not to hear the bill banning assault rifles and large capacity magazines at the Florida Capital in Tallahassee on Tuesday. [AP]
Published May 31 2018
Updated May 31 2018

WASHINGTON – President Trump said this morning he will grant a pardon to Dinesh D'Souza, the conservative writer who earlier this year generated controversy for mocking Parkland survivors and is slated to speak before Florida Republicans in late June.

D'Souza plead guilty in 2014 to making illegal campaign contributions to a U.S. Senate candidate in the names of others.

He was fined and sentenced to five years of probation, though later said he was targeted by the Obama administration – an argument that apparently resonated with Trump. "He was treated very unfairly by our government!" the president tweeted.

D'Souza has been named one of the speakers for the Republican Party of Florida's Sunshine Summit in late June.

But his online mocking of Parkland students drew a backlash and condemnations from some Republicans, including Gov. Rick Scott.

"His comments were disgusting and unacceptable. The governor has spent a lot of time with the Parkland victims and their families and will always stand with them," Scott spokesman Ryan Patmintra said earlier this month.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam reacted similarly.

In February, days after the Parkland massacre, D'Souza poked fun at a photograph of grieving students attending a Legislative session in which a proposed assault weapons ban was rejected from consideration.

He later apologized.

RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said he was not deterred by the criticism of selecting D'Souza as a speaker.

Former RPOF Chairman Al Cardenas on Thursday called D'Souza a "bad choice."

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