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Trump promises pardon if officials break law to build the wall: WaPo

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US President Donald Trump has reportedly told officials that he will pardon them if they break the law to finish hundreds of miles of fence along the US-Mexico border by 2020, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Officials told the publication that Trump directed them to fast-track construction contracts worth billions, seize private land and ignore environmental laws to complete the construction of hundreds of miles of border fence.

The officials said the president was dangling the prospect of a pardon for those prosecuted for breaking the law in the building process.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

One White House official told the Post that the president was “joking” when he made the claims.

Trump’s pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexico border to keep out undocumented migrants was the signature of his 2016 presidential election campaign.

But the plan has been stalled in Congress amidst opposition from Democrats who have refused to approve the $5 billion funding demanded by the president.

Instead, Trump in February declared a National Emergency on the border, using money from the Pentagon and also the Treasury to fund construction of the border wall.

With the 2020 election looming, Trump has pledged to build 500 miles of additional fencing along the border. Only about 60 miles has been completed thus far during his presidency.

On Sunday, Customs and Border Patrol tweeted footage of a stretch of the new fence that has been constructed in Arizona.

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