President Trump ran on the premise of securing the borders, particularly the Mexican border where he stated he would build a large-scale wall. Portions of the 2,000-mile wall have been built, but it has been at a snail’s pace, leaving many wondering what the holdups have been. A new book by two New York Times correspondents might give some insight into these holdups.
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“Excerpts from Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault On Immigration” was published in the NYT and gave insight into Trump’s mindset when it came to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants.
According to the book, Trump demanded that the Mexican border be shut down in March since he was having tremendous trouble getting the border secure. In fact, the book’s authors, Michael D Shear and Julie Hirschfield Davis, claimed he was planning on giving a noon deadline, which his aids argued would create an economic meltdown.
Another idea he floated by his staff involved demanding border agents “start turning migrants away at the border” and “keep them all out.”
Kevin McAleenan, the former customs and border protection chief, chose not to do that as it would be near impossible. The book claimed the president then stated he would pardon McAleenan if he were to get in trouble.
Perhaps the most outlandish idea was when Trump floated the idea that the border wall be electrified. In addition, the president wanted to create a “water-filled trench,” filling it with “snakes or alligators.”
According to Sky News, the administration actually sought out estimates for how much it would cost for the said alligator-filled trench. It was unclear how they planned to keep the prehistoric beasts fed and in the trench.
Trump was furious when his ideas were shot down left and right by various cabinet members and aids. “You are making me look like an idiot! I ran on this. It’s my issue,” he reportedly said in an outburst.
Jared Kushner and former Homeland Secretary Chief Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly left these meetings “in a near panic,” desperately trying to change Trump’s mind, CBS News reported.
Trump even went as far as to ask that immigrants be shot in the legs if they tried to cross the border illegally, which he was informed would be illegal.
All of these accounts are supposedly from staff members who were involved in these Oval Office meetings.