Trump asked about shooting migrants at border in legs if they threw rocks at agents, reportedly wanted a 'trench with deadly reptiles'
A new report from The New York Times on Tuesday shows the extraordinary measures President Trump inquired about as part of his push to secure the southern border.
In an excerpt from their upcoming book, "Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration," Times reporters Michael Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis allege that Trump has repeatedly floated the idea of installing a "water-filled trench" filled with deadly reptiles.
"Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh," the excerpt read. "After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him."
A source who was in the room at the time confirmed the conversation about shooting migrants in the legs to Fox News late Tuesday.
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The Times journalists said that their report was based on interviews with "more than a dozen White House and administration officials directly involved" in discussions that took place at the time.
“You are making me look like an idiot,” Trump reportedly shouted at the meeting. "I ran on this. It’s my issue.”
The president also reportedly trashed his then-Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who left the administration in April.
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The report details about efforts made by top White House advisor Stephen Miller to "get rid" of administration officials he thought were thwarting Trump's immigration agenda, which included Nielsen, then-United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) chief L. Francis Cissna, DHS general counsel John Mitnick, and former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Ronald D. Vitiello, all who have since left the administration.
The White House did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.