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Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff of the Department of Homeland Security, claimed in a political ad released Tuesday that President Trump offered to "pardon U.S. government officials for breaking the law to implement his immigration policies."

Why it matters: Taylor, who quit the Trump administration in 2019 and endorsed Joe Biden last week, is one of a number of Republicans seeking to stop the president's re-election. Trump denied that he offered pardons to immigration officials when the allegations were first reported by the Washington Post and New York Times in August 2019.

What he's saying:

"Even though he had been told on repeated occasions that the way he wanted to do it was illegal, his response was to say, ‘Do it. If you get in trouble, I’ll pardon you.’
It was made clear to the president that it was against the law for us to simply deny anyone entry across the southern border including people who were fleeing violence, persecution, danger. Under the law, they had the right to come in to try to seek refuge in the United States. He said, ‘I don’t care.’ His exact words were, ‘The bins are full.’
The president offered to pardon U.S. government officials for breaking the law to implement his immigration policy. That was the moment I decided I was going to have to quit the Trump administration."

The big picture: Taylor and other former U.S. officials and advisers from the Trump administration have formed an anti-Trump group called the Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform. "We’ll have a broad group of Republicans focused on denying Trump a second term, and most importantly, planning for a post-Trump GOP and America,” Taylor told NBC News.

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

29 mins ago - World

U.S. intelligence expects a stormy year in the Middle East

A technical team explodes remnant ammunition near Sirte, Libya. Photo: Mohammed Ertima/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Ongoing conflicts, economic crises and the fallout from COVID-19 will likely destabilize several countries in the Middle East in 2021 and could even put some on the brink of collapse, according to the U.S. intelligence community's annual Threat Assessment Report, released on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The report is the most comprehensive assessment the intelligence community produces every year. It paints a portrait of conflicts, insurgencies, terrorism and protest movements across the Middle East.

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Officer Kim Potter arrested, charged with manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Kim Potter, the former police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis on Sunday, was arrested and charged by Washington County Pete Orput with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The shooting of the 20-year-old Black man in Brooklyn Center, Minn., just ten miles from where George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last year, has reinvigorated Black Lives Matter protests and led to three consecutive nights of unrest.

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