This is the language of the United States Constitution, Article II, Section 3, concerning the duties of the President.
Today, there were widespread reports—obviously coming from inside sources—that Trump has specifically ordered his minions to violate multiple laws, in order to build his southern wall, and that he has promised to pardon the aforesaid minions for committing the crimes he was directing them to commit.
It must be assumed that the people who received that instruction had the wit to understand that, if they actually do what Trump is telling them to do, things are very likely to turn out badly. Badly, that is, in many ways—including, among much else, the destruction of their own careers.
See, e.g., Michael Cohen.
So they left the room, gave their buds over at the Times or the Post a ringy-ding, and blabbed about what Trump had just told them to do.
Knowing that Trump would have to deny it, as he did this afternoon.
Which pretty much guarantees that the pardon promise is worth even less than a degree from Trump University.
Oh, and there is this other thing. One might suppose that a promise to use the pardon power in the future, in order to induce subordinates to commit crimes in the present, would be pretty much the poster child for a High Crime or Misdemeanor.