WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Homeland Security denies that President Donald Trump “indicated, asked, directed or pressured” Kevin McAleenan to do anything illegal.
Last week Trump urged his soon-to-be acting homeland security secretary to seal the southern border and told McAleenan he would pardon him if he were to find himself in trouble for blocking legal asylum-seekers.
That’s according to two people familiar with the conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange.
It was not clear whether the president was joking, and a Homeland Security spokesman said in a statement: “At no time has the president indicated, asked, directed or pressured the acting secretary to do anything illegal.”
The reported conversation came during the president’s trip last week to Calexico, California.