A new report offers an inside view of the chaos within the White House in regards to President Donald Trump's desire to shut down the U.S. border with Mexico, with Trump quoted as suggesting migrants trying to illegally cross could be shot in the legs or face an alligator- and snake-filled trench.
The New York Times spoke with sources inside the administration and compiled a detailed look at what took place beginning in March of this year as a frustrated Trump demanded that illegal immigration be stopped at nearly any cost.
Trump, according to the report, discussed installing a trench in front of the U.S. border that would be stocked with alligators and snakes. He also wanted the border wall, a central promise of his 2016 campaign, electrified and outfitted with spikes. Another suggestion he had was for Border Patrol agents to shoot illegal border crossers in the legs to slow down their progress.
None of those ideas came to fruition. Trump then publicly threatened to close the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico, which measures nearly 2,000 miles, at the end of March to force Mexico to cooperate with the U.S. on immigration and trade. That threat never became a reality.
The Times also provided more details about the firings and resignations of several people in Trump's orbit who challenged him on some of his border ideas, including his Homeland Security Secretary at the time Kirstjen Nielsen.
"Kirstjen, I want to make a change," Trump told her during a Sunday meeting in early April. The meeting ended a tumultuous week that included the aforementioned immigration threats and ideas from Trump.
"Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position," Trump tweeted that night, "and I would like to thank her for her service."
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