President Donald Trump ran the gamut in his brainstorming on how to keep immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, floating an alligator- or snake-filled moat, spikes atop a border wall and shooting immigrants in the legs.
According to the New York Times, one day last March, Trump demanded in a fit of pique that the border be closed down entirely. Panic mounted in the room as he lashed out at Jared Kushner and then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, declaring that his will be done at “noon tomorrow.”
Though their economic arguments largely fell on deaf ears, Trump’s advisers managed to sway him to hold off for a week. During that time, he met with a room of border patrol agents and told them to stop letting immigrants through. As soon as Trump left the room, then-Customs and Border Protection Chief Kevin McAleenan hastily told his agents that they did not have the authority to do that.
Trump tired of Nielsen around that time, ushering in the current immigration reign of hardliner Stephen Miller.
Trump addressed the report later on Wednesday:
Now the press is trying to sell the fact that I wanted a Moot stuffed with alligators and snakes, with an electrified fence and sharp spikes on top, at our Southern Border. I may be tough on Border Security, but not that tough. The press has gone Crazy. Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2019