Joe Arpaio: Obama Now Not "Involved" in Protests. It's Currently a "Coincidence"

Despite Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio scoffing at the idea of President Obama not being "involved" in the protests against him, the conspiracy-theory alert has now been downgraded to "coincidence."

Last night, Arpaio was chatting up KPHO about the protests, and said, "If you don't think the president is not involved in this -- I remember seeing one of those people arrested shaking hands with the president."

MCSO spokesman Chris Hegstrom tells New Times that Arpaio is now thinking Obama's not involved -- sort of.

"The Sheriff is not saying he believes the President is involved with the protests in any way," Hegstrom says. "He is simply showing the coincidence of one protester arrested Tuesday night, was seen shaking the President's hand, standing beside Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox a few weeks ago."

That said, we weren't saying that Arpaio started a conspiracy theory about Obama giving  youngsters orders to protest Arpaio's immigration-enforcement policies. We were just pointing out the coincidence that a man investigating the legitimacy of the president's birth certificate was rejecting at the idea of the president not being "involved" in the protests.

Also, Mary Rose Wilcox is brand new to the theory/explanation. Convenient name-drop, though.

We're not sure exactly what Arpaio was talking about yesterday with Obama being "involved," but the girl shaking hands with the president was 16-year-old Jackie Sanchez -- one of the six people arrested and released during a protest against Arpaio earlier this week -- who got to talk to the president for a few seconds about the DREAM Act when he was in town in January.

Sanchez -- along with all of the protesters arrested at Trevor Browne High School earlier in the week -- was mysteriously released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, with the agency explaining that the youngsters "do not fall under ICE's enforcement priorities."

Again, before you put your Cold Case Posse suits on, this is just a "coincidence."