Reports: Trump Promises Acting DHS Secretary a Pardon on Immigration - Rolling Stone
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Reports: Trump Promises Acting DHS Secretary Pardon If He Breaks Immigration Law

The president called the story “fake news”

President Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump

President Donald Trump arrives to speaks to the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training.

Evan Vucci/AP/REX/Shutterstock

According to two separate reports, from CNN and the New York Times, President Donald Trump told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan that he would “pardon him if he ever went to jail for denying US entry to migrants.”

Both outlets, citing anonymous administration officials, said that Trump brought up the topic while touring the border with McAleenan in Calexico, Calif. last week.

Homeland Security issued a statement without flatly denying the president’s offer of a pardon, “At no time has the President indicated, asked, directed or pressured the Acting Secretary to do anything illegal. Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law,” the statement read.

However, there has been some chatter about the president’s reported pardon comment being a joke. But neither CNN nor the New York Times have been able to confirm that.

Predictably, Trump took to Twitter with his familiar refrain of calling anything that doesn’t reflect well on him bogus, saying the reports were “fake news” and misattributing the reporting to NBC News. The president’s comment was followed by New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman quote tweeting the president in an attempt to set the record straight about which news outlets reported the story and the lack of a White House response.

This isn’t the first time Trump’s possible use of pardons has been in the news. But the quid pro quo nature of it here seems to rise the level of an impeachable offense, if not criminal.

In This Article: Donald Trump, Kevin McAleenan


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