CNN reports Trump promised to pardon the head of CBP if he broke the law to block asylum seekers from entering the US
President Donald Trump told border agents to refuse to let asylum seekers enter the United States despite the fact that it would be illegal, according to a CNN report this week.
And on Friday, anchor Jake Tapper expanded on this bombshell report with an even more stunning revelation: Trump reportedly promised Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan that he would pardon him if he broke asylum law in this way.
BREAKING: In Calexico, CA last week, where POTUS told border agents to block asylum-seekers from entering the US co… https://t.co/GiTIAgHXti— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1555097803.0
2/ Officials briefed on the convo say they don’t know if POTUS was joking or serious. WH referred me to DHS, DHS sp… https://t.co/lbFU4irzWY— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1555098048.0
3/ ”...Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law.”— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper)1555098048.0
After Trump ousted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen this week, reportedly because she had stood up to him when he wanted to break the law, he made McAleenan acting secretary of the department.
The New York Times confirmed Tapper's reporting. It's not clear if Trump was joking, the Times said, but officials were nevertheless disturbed by the comments:
One of the people briefed on the conversation said it was unclear whether Mr. Trump had intended the comments to Mr. McAleenan as a joke. But the conversation, which took place during the president’s visit to the border town of Calexico, Calif., alarmed officials at the Department of Homeland Security who were told of it, according to the people familiar with the comments.