Donald Trump Offered the Head of Customs and Border Protection a Pardon If He Ever Went to Jail for Following Trump's Illegal Orders

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

News reports indicate that President Donald Trump told the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan, he would pardon him if he were arrested as a result of blocking asylum seekers from entering the country. Trump made the comment during his recent visit to the border at Calexico, California, according to two senior administration officials.

The White House declined to comment, referring the story, which broke via CNN, to the Department of Homeland of Security. A DHS spokesperson then pushed back against it.


“At no time has the President indicated, asked, directed or pressured the Acting Secretary to do anything illegal,” the spokesperson said. “Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law.”

Given the president's increasingly aggressive campaigns against migrants seeking asylum, an issue to which he's dedicated a lot of thought to as evidenced by his many tweets on the subject, this isn't a statement people are willing to believe.

It was Justin Miller, the national editor for The Daily Beast, who pointed out that the president pardoned former Arizona law enforcement officer Joe Arpaio for not obeying a court order barring him from conducting further "immigration round-ups."

Representative Kathleen Rice (D-NY) has already promised to investigate, saying that McAleenan will "eventually have to testify before" the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Trump made headlines in Calexico for telling border agents to stop all migrants from entering the United States after declaring that “our country is full."

“This is our new statement- the system is full,” Trump said at the time. “We can’t take you anymore. Whether it’s asylum or anything you want – illegal immigration – we can’t take you anymore. Our country is full. Our area is full. The sector is full. Can’t take you anymore, I’m sorry. Turn around. That’s the way it is.”

The news of Trump's remark to McAleenan comes shortly after he appointed McAleenan to lead DHS on an acting basis until a permanent replacement for now-former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is chosen.

Earlier this afternoon, the president stirred controversy after he confirmed that the White House is “giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities,” blaming Democrats who he says have been “unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws.”

In a follow-up tweet, the president claimed the “Radical Left” should be “happy” with the policy.

Democrats have rebuked the White House in response to the proposal, which was apparently rejected both times it came up by administration immigration agencies.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Donald Trump has made 16,241 false statements and counting. With such a stream of falsehoods deployed daily upon the public, it's easy to imagine that fact-checkers are constantly exhausted.

The ones at Politifact don't seem fazed.

At a Wednesday night rally in New Jersey, President Donald Trump revived his long-sought and heretofore undelivered promise that Mexico would pay for the southern border wall—a pillar of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Keep reading...
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Daily Front Row // Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Former Republican Congressman and current host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough, left the Republican party in July of 2017—around six months after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Since then, he's used his show to call out the President's (16,000+ and counting) lies—and Tuesday night was no different.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After weeks of enduring the impeachment trial against him in the Senate, President Donald Trump was likely grateful to be in a venue filled with people willing to praise him.

The President spoke at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, but at multiple points during the speech, his words got ahead of his thoughts.

At one point, Fox News—which was covering the event—decided to cut away, amid stifled laughter from the hosts.

Keep reading...
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The United States, unlike North Korea and other nations President Donald Trump admires, does not have an official state media channel where the federal government can push propaganda.

But since his 2016 campaign, Trump has spoken as though he does have an official state media in Fox News.

Keep reading...
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Retired General John Kelly served as President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff until late 2018, and now he's siding against Trump on a crucial point.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton's allegations in his upcoming memoir have rocked the impeachment trial in the Senate. Bolton claims Trump sought to withhold aid from Ukraine until it acquiesced to performing politically beneficial investigations for Trump's reelection bid.

Keep reading...

As calls continue to grow for former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify before the Senate in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is feeling left out.

Demands for Bolton's testimony skyrocketed among the public after allegations in his upcoming memoir that Trump sought to withhold Ukrainian aid as late as September to secure foreign investigations into Trump's political rivals.

Keep reading...