REPORT: Trump Told CBP Head Kevin McAleenan that He’d Pardon Him if McAleenan Were Sent to Jail for Blocking Asylum Seekers

Not okay.

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.

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