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Donald Trump Has Some Ludicrous and Also Horrific Suggestions for Border Protections

Donald Trump peers out from behind a brick wall.

In an adapted excerpt from the forthcoming book Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration, the New York Times published a disturbing account of Donald Trump’s attempts to speed up his immigration plan.

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Trump ran on the promise that he would build a wall along the US/Mexico border. It’s a plan that the majority of Americans are against, and one that many of those who do support it see as moving too slowly. Some of his base has started to turn against him for what they see as a broken promise, and Trump himself doesn’t seem to have the patience to think of this as a long-term issue.

According to the Times, he had a number of far-fetched ideas he would pitch at Oval Office meetings.

“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,” writes the Times.

Trump has denied this account, including one now-deleted tweet where he misspelled moat.

For the record:

That’s obviously ridiculous, as is Trump’s denial that he would have considered this sort of thing, since he’s literally told us he’s considered some of these options.

Remember this:


So yes, it’s totally believable that Trump also repeatedly told senior officials he wanted to line the border with alligator moats.

Not all of Trump’s ideas are so laughable, though. In that same paragraph, the New York Times continues:

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.

Trump had to be told that border agents aren’t allowed to shoot people, and then he came back with but what about just in the legs? That’s monstrous. And as Trump was denying the moats and the moots and the snakes and the alligators on Twitter and in his press conference with the Finnish President (although he mistakenly called it a Washington Post article and then railed against the Post for being a fake newspaper that’s “owned by a rich guy for the purposes of giving him power”), it needs to be noted that he never once denied the part about wanting to shoot immigrants.

Maybe that’s because it happened, or maybe it’s because Trump is more offended by the idea of looking silly than he is by looking like a murderous ghoul. Who can say?

(image: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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