Trump Denies Report That Claims He Offered to Pardon Aides for Laws Broken Over Orders to Build Wall

August 28, 2019 Updated: September 13, 2019

President Donald Trump has criticized the accuracy of a Washington Post report that claimed the president told his aides he would pardon them if they had broken the law while carrying out orders to build the wall at the southern border quickly.

“Another totally Fake story in the Amazon Washington Post (lobbyist) which states that if my Aides broke the law to build the Wall (which is going up rapidly), I would give them a Pardon,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post on Aug. 28. “This was made up by the Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage – FAKE NEWS!”

The article, which was published on Aug. 27, claims that Trump had privately suggested that he would pardon officials of any potential wrongdoing during a meeting about building the wall. It also claimed that Trump had expressed concerns to senior aides over the progress of the construction and has urged them to hasten the pace, saying that a failure to deliver on this promise would let down his supporters.

The Post also reported that a White House official told the newspaper that the president was joking when making statements about pardons.

Earlier on Aug. 28, Trump posted a video showing a section of the wall that had been constructed. He wrote, “The Wall is going up very fast despite total Obstruction by Democrats in Congress, and elsewhere!”

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), over 60 miles of the new barrier has been built along the U.S.-Mexico border since 2017, adding that they expect “to complete 450 miles by the end of 2020.”

In June, Trump praised a decision reached by the federal court denying a request by House Democrats to block funds being appropriated from other accounts for the construction of the border wall.

“Just had a big victory in Federal Court over the Democrats in the House on the desperately needed Border Wall. A big step in the right direction. Wall is under construction!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Federal immigration officials have reported to Congress record highs in the apprehension of illegal immigrants at the border in the past months, saying that the numbers have overwhelmed border patrol facilities and resources.

In May, border patrol agents apprehended or deemed inadmissible over 144,000 people crossing from Mexico. In June, the number fell to around 104,000 people after Trump took action against Mexico, leading to a deal between the two countries. This number fell to just over 82,000 in July.

Trump Denies Report About Nuking Hurricanes

Trump has spent much effort during his presidency disputing claims reported by media outlets about the president’s remarks or conduct in private settings, usually only citing anonymous sources.

Earlier this week, Trump slammed an Axios report that claimed he suggested using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes from hitting the United States.

“The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this,” Trump wrote while in France for the Group of Seven (G7) meeting.

“Just more FAKE NEWS!” he added.

Trump’s post came hours after Axios published an article on Aug. 25 claiming that Trump asked officials during a hurricane briefing at the White House, while citing anonymous sources, whether they could drop a nuclear bomb inside the eye of a hurricane while it was moving across the Atlantic to disrupt its course.

The report continues by saying that the source who provided Axios with details to the discussion subsequently told the president that they would look into it.

Responding to the president’s denial to the story, both authors of the story said they stand by their reporting.

Epoch Times reporter Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.

Follow Janita on Twitter: @janitakan
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