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Snakes, Spikes, and Shooting People in the Legs: Trump's Scariest Border 'Solutions'

A forthcoming book details the stunning -- and some illegal -- ideas Trump suggested so he could deliver on his main campaign promise

by Tim Marcin
Oct 2 2019, 2:40pm

A moat — yes, an actual, predator-infested moat — that’s what President Donald Trump wanted at the border to keep migrants out.

And that’s just one of the bonkers border “solutions” Trump pushed in March, according to a New York Times article Tuesday adapted from a forthcoming book — as he demanded officials find more-extreme ways to deliver on his main campaign promise of limiting immigration.

Among the anecdotes galore in the Times piece, here are 6 of the craziest:

1. Snakes and alligators

The president mentioned his moat idea so often that aides reportedly sought estimates for stocking a “water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators.”

Where one finds actual prices for a massive moat is unclear.

2. Even more medieval ideas

Not satisfied with just a moat, Trump had another idea that seemed like "Game of Thrones"-esque siege warfare. He also wanted his long-promised border wall to be topped with spikes that could pierce through human flesh.

For a modern touch, he reportedly wanted the wall electrified, too.

3. Shoot first, ask questions later

Trump couldn’t seem to comprehend why they couldn’t just shoot migrants, according to the Times report.

“After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal,” the article read.

But later, aides recalled Trump wondering if they could just shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. Aides had to tell him, no, that was not allowed either.

4. Please change your face

Just a few weeks before Kirstjen Nielsen, the former Homeland Security secretary, was forced out in April, Trump reportedly had an issue with the way she presented herself. The Times reported the president felt she was ineffective and “worse — at least in his mind — not tough-looking enough.” Trump lamented the fact that his Fox News buddies weren’t thrilled with her.

“Lou Dobbs hates you, Ann Coulter hates you, you’re making me look bad,” he said, according to the Times.

5. “Kirstjen, honey...”

Trump apparently had little patience for talking about anything but the border with Nielsen. The Times reported that when she tried to explain the need for new legal authority to take down drones, the president called her “honey” while cutting her off.

“Kirstjen, you didn’t hear me the first time, honey,” Trump said, according to the article. “Shoot ’em down. Sweetheart, just shoot ’em out of the sky, O.K.?”

6. Passing out pardons

Trump desperately wanted to shut down the border for migrants. As in: no more migrants can enter, whatsoever. He reportedly pushed Kevin McAleenan, then the Customs and Border Protection chief, to take action and not worry about breaking any pesky rules.

“If you get into any trouble for it, Mr. Trump told him, I’ll pardon you,” wrote the Times.

Cover: In this Sept. 4, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump talks with reporters after receiving a briefing on Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File )