President Trump declared the press "crazy" on Wednesday, denying a report that he requested deadly and extravagant deterrents -- including a moat with alligators and snakes -- along the southern border.
"Now the press is trying to sell the fact that I wanted a Moat stuffed with alligators and snakes, with an electrified fence and sharp spikes on top, at our Southern Border," he tweeted.
"I may be tough on Border Security, but not that tough. The press has gone Crazy. Fake News!"
The president was disputing a New York Times report that claimed his officials denied requests to install, among other things, flesh-piercing spikes, an electrified wall, and soldiers who would shoot rock-throwing migrants.
The Times report, published on Tuesday, included an excerpt from a book by two of the paper's reporters. It read: "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. 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.
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.
The report details 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.
Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.