We know how badly Donald Trump wants his wall: so badly he is apparently willing to break the law to get it built.

According to the Washington Post, Trump has told officials he will pardon them if they break any laws in attempting to finish construction on the US-Mexico border wall. Trump’s plan to get the wall up as quickly as possible reportedly includes taking private land for construction, directing defense funding away from other needs, and violating environmental rules.

“Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,” Trump has said during White House meetings when officials have noted that some of Trump’s orders might be illegal.

A White House official, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Post that the President was just kidding about making pardons.

As Trump campaigns for reelection in 2020, he has been under increasing pressure to get the wall built. Critics of the wall say it could harm the environment as well as border communities. 

Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told the Post that criticisms are “just more fabrications by people who hate the fact the status quo, that has crippled this country for decades, is finally changing as President Trump is moving quicker than anyone in history to build the wall, secure the border and enact the very immigration policies the American people voted for.”

Currently, the administration has only built 13% of the wall. Trump has promised 450 miles built by the end of 2020.

As of July 2019, Trump has issued 15 pardons, including to Joe Arpaio who was convicted of contempt of court and Dinesh D’Souza who was convicted of campaign finance violations.

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*First Published: August 28, 2019, 10:03 am