Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said that Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu, a member of Mitt Romney's campaign who reportedly threatened to deport his ex-boyfriend, is a “friend” and that he should be treated as innocent until proven otherwise, ABC reported.
“Well of course Sheriff Babeu is a friend of mine,” McCain said in an interview with ABC. “I do not know the details except what has been published in the media and I am sure there will be a through and complete investigation if there is any allegations of wrongdoing.”
He added: “All I can say is that he also deserves the benefit, as every citizen does, of innocence until proven guilty.”
Babeu, the sheriff in Pinal County, Ariz., was the Arizona co-chair of Romney's presidential campaign. He announced on Saturday that he is gay and that he will leave the Romney campaign.
The admission comes a day after the Phoenix New Times reported that the sheriff threatened his ex-boyfriend, an illegal immigrant, with deportation after he declined to sign an agreement keeping their relationship secret.
Babeu had appeared with McCain in advertisements in the past.
Said McCain: “I appreciate the support he gave me in my campaign, always will.”
See all NJ’s Sunday show coverage | Get Sunday show coverage in your inbox