The New York Times is reporting that, based on interviews with more than a dozen White House officials involved with a meeting in March, President Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down. When cabinet members told him that his some of his proposals were illegal, Trump reportedly yelled “You are making me look like an idiot!. I ran on this. It’s my issue.” The paper also alleges that Trump suggest a moat filled with snakes or alligators. The sheer number of sources is illuminating in this story. There has always been a surprising number of leakers in this White House but the numbers appear to be growing.
According to the sources, the meeting was attended by then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Customs and Border Protection chief Kevin McAleenan, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, White House adviser Stephen Miller, and others.
At the meeting, Trump was told that he could not build a solid concrete wall across the Southern border and Trump reportedly pushed for an electrified wall with spikes. The officials also said that Trump broached the idea of a water-filled trench stocked with snakes or alligators.
There is obviously a concern with such anonymous sources but this is a surprising high number of sources. I would also be interested if the trench idea may also have been a joke. Either it was a joke or it is a statement of utter insanity. Given the obvious hostility in the leak, I would be suspicious about the intent behind the comment and whether everyone actually believed that Trump was serious in having a moat.
The shooting of migrants would have constituted not just a crime but an international human rights violation.