Trump Reportedly Promised to Pardon CBP Head if He Were Jailed for Blocking Asylum Seekers
President Donald Trump informed U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan that he would pardon him in the event that he is jailed for blocking asylum seekers at the direction of Trump, per a report from CNN.
Trump made the comments during a recent trip to the Calexico, California portion of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to sources who spoke to CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
BREAKING: In Calexico, CA last week, where POTUS told border agents to block asylum-seekers from entering the US contrary to law, Trump told CBP head McAleenan if he were sent to jail as a result, the president would pardon him, 2 Sr admin officials tell me.
More on @CNN…
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 12, 2019
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security, which McAleenan is the acting secretary of after Kirstjen Nielsen‘s departure, denied the CNN report.
“At no time has the President indicated, asked, directed or pressured the Acting Secretary to do anything illegal,” the flack said. “Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law.”
Trump’s reported efforts to skirt asylum laws and preemptively offer a pardon to McAleenan come amid the administration’s renewed focus on hardline immigration policies. Earlier today, the president declared his interest in sending all undocumented immigrants to “sanctuary cities only.”
White House advisor Stephen Miller, who reportedly aided in the effort of removing Nielsen, also has plans to take the DHS in a “tougher” direction.
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org