Trump blasts Washington Post report that he offered pardons to aides over border wall orders

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE on Wednesday blasted The Washington Post over a report that he urged aides to do whatever is necessary to complete construction of the wall along the southern border, and that he would pardon them if they broke the law. 

The president dismissed the report, which was published Tuesday night and included on the record comments from the White House press office, as a "totally Fake story."

"This was made up by the Washington Post only in order to demean and disparage - FAKE NEWS!" Trump tweeted. 

The Post reported that Trump has privately suggested that he would pardon officials who carry out potentially illegal orders connected to construction of a wall at the southern border and that he has grown worried not completing the structure by the 2020 election could hurt his reelection chances.

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The Post reported that 60 miles of barrier to replace current fencing at the southern border has been completed in Trump’s first term, which is about one-tenth of the barrier Trump promised voters.

The president on Wednesday afternoon tweeted a video showing a section of wall being built and claiming the structure is going up "very fast."

The White House did not return a request for comment Wednesday from The Hill on the details as reported by the Post. One anonymous White House official told the newspaper that Trump was joking with the talk about pardons.

A pair of Democratic presidential candidates seized on the Post's story to hammer Trump over reportedly dangling pardons.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden campaign says no VP pick yet after bike trail quip Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Biden edges closer to VP pick: Here's who's up and who's down MORE (D-Calif.) ripped Trump as a "lawless president," while former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBeto O'Rourke calls Texas GOP 'a death cult' over coronavirus response Hegar, West to face off in bitter Texas Senate runoff Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump MORE (D-Texas) warned that the president "believes he's above the law."

Trump often derides news coverage that he dislikes as "fake news." He frequently targets both The Washington Post and its owner, Amazon founder Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHearing for Twitter hack suspect Zoom-bombed by porn, rap music Five takeaways from Big Tech's blowout earnings Hillicon Valley: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces swift bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports | Senators ask Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom MORE, falsely claiming that the newspaper is a lobbying arm for the technology and retail giant.