Trump tells reporters border fence is 'wired' despite Army general's protestations

Trump suggested shooting migrants and creating border moat with alligators and snakes, report claims

Ideas abandoned after aides tell president they are illegal

Zamira Rahim@ZamiraRahim
Wednesday 02 October 2019 08:05

Donald Trump reportedly suggested shooting migrants in the legs as they crossed the US-Mexico border, in order to slow them down.

The president is said to have pushed for the illegal action during a private meeting.

He also suggested creating a border moat filled with snakes or alligators, on numerous occasions.

Despite the unorthodox nature of the idea, the 73-year-old’s aides sought a cost estimate for the moat, according to The New York Times.

Mr Trump hoped the moat would accompany his border wall.

The president also wanted the wall electrified and to have spikes at the top.

In November 2018 Mr Trump publicly suggested that border troops would shoot asylum seekers if they threw rocks at officers.

“I will tell you, anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police, where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico, we will consider that a firearm,” he said.

The idea, like the others, was abandoned after his staff told him it was illegal.

Mr Trump reportedly grew impatient with senior aides including Kirstjen Nielsen, who would try to reason with him.

The former secretary for Homeland Security discouraged the president from painting the border wall black and explained the White House needed permission from property owners to speed up its construction.

The president reportedly told her to take the land and let the owners sue.

He later asked her to construct the border wall out of cement.

Ms Nielsen replied: “I literally don’t think that’s even possible.”

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

The aide resigned from her post shortly afterwards.

Several other White House advisors who tried to object to the president’s plans have also resigned or faced dismissal.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments