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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment 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 HarrisPress: Another billionaire need not apply Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism New book questions Harris's record on big banks MORE (D-Calif.) ripped Trump as a "lawless president," while former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke says he 'absolutely' plans to stay in politics Krystal Ball: Buttigieg is 'the boomer candidate' Language is a weapon in political warfare — if the media play along 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 BezosSanders, Ocasio-Cortez see 'class solidarity' in report Bezos asked Bloomberg to run Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism Over 1,000 Google employees call on company to release climate plan MORE, falsely claiming that the newspaper is a lobbying arm for the technology and retail giant.