President Donald Trump considered several means of fortifying the southern border before settling on a wall of concrete-filled steel posts. According to a report Tuesday by the New York Times, Trump had discussed in March surrounding the wall with “a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators,” electrifying the fence and adding “spikes on top that could pierce human flesh,” as well as shooting “migrants in the legs to slow them down.”

The Times report, which documented Trump’s train of thought after he insisted in shutting down the entire Mexican border in March, is based off over a dozen interviews with White House officials. It is an adaptation of the reporters’ book, Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration, which is set to be published on Oct. 8.

The report states that Trump asked aides to obtain cost estimates of these additional security measures, and had to be told that shooting migrants is illegal.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly tried to explain that shutting down the border would not fix the problems Trump wanted fixed, because migrants could still claim asylum.


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“All you care about is your friends in Mexico,” the president said, according to the Times‘ sources. “I’ve had it. I want it done at noon tomorrow.”

CBS reporter Fin Gomez tweeted Deputy Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley‘s responses to the article.


“There have been so many wild, inaccurate and offensive fake news characterizations about the President’s plans to protect the American people and secure our Southern Border, but you don’t have to wonder about what he wants to do,” said Gidley. “President Trump has clearly and publicly stated many times that he wants to make American communities safer by building a wall, closing dangerous loopholes that incentivize child smugglers and drug cartels, and implement a merit based immigration system.”

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