Living in America in 2019 is waking up to discover that not only is your president denying a credible report that he floated the idea of a building an alligator and snake-filled moat along the southern border to deter migrants from crossing into the country, but that he’s denying it in a typo-riddled tweet.
Yesterday, The New York Times reported that in addition to the aforementioned medieval defense Trump also toyed with the idea of having American soldiers shoot undocumented immigrants in the legs:
“Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.”
The story is that exact mix of ridiculously stupid and cartoonishly evil that has come to define this White House. The president’s incredibly ignorant and infantile way of looking at the world is matched only by his desire to commit horrifying acts of cruelty across the face of it, from Mexico to Iraq.
This morning Trump slammed the press over the report and insisted that he never wanted to build a “Moot stuffed with alligators and snakes” before also denying that he wanted to add electrified fencing with sharp spikes.
“I may be tough on Border Security, but not that tough. The press has gone Crazy. Fake News!,” Trump tweeted. He quickly deleted the original tweet and replaced it with the same message, but with his illiterate spelling of “moat” corrected. As is always the case now, screenshots survived.
Now the press is trying to sell the fact that I wanted a Moat 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
It’s incredibly telling that Trump chose to deny the silly Dr. Evil-esque suggestions but didn’t even mention the most brutal idea in the Times story: shooting migrants in the leg. His failure to do so seems like a tacit admission that he does indeed like the idea of such illegal violence and that he suspects, probably correctly, that many of his supporters like the idea as well. This is a man without any capability for empathy and a perverse hunger for inflicting harm on people of color.
On top of that, the part about the president suggesting sharp spikes on top of his border fencing is absolutely true, as a previous tweet from Trump proves. He lies as easily as he breathes.
A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful! pic.twitter.com/sGltXh0cu9
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
Twitter immediately inundated the president with much-deserved mockery.
we all saw you tweet 'moot,' you doofy galoot
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) October 2, 2019
Look! He spelled moat correctly! Still have no clue why it’s capitalized but…baby steps. Or is it baby hands?
— Shugar (@GregShugar) October 2, 2019
"I want a tremendous Moot with snakes and alligators!" – Donald Trump
— Trumpy Trumpy (parody) (@outofcontroljb) October 2, 2019
As Rome burned, Nero played his fiddle.
As America heads into a recession, Trump plays with his Twitter.
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) October 2, 2019
Yeah this doesn’t sound like the idea of someone who proposed nuking hurricanes at all. No siree Bob
— Jaynie's Got a Bun (@FreeGirlNowNYC) October 2, 2019
Fuck you. It’s a moot point now.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) October 2, 2019
BULLSHIT. It's not the press, it's your own staff. Those terrified, panicked, desperate people who work(ed) for you, hate you and who have ZERO loyalty to you and are now selling you out one by one because there's no fucking way they're going to prison for you… #Trump
— Andy Ostroy (@AndyOstroy) October 2, 2019
Do you know what is telling (and disgusting)?
He doesn’t even try to deny the part about wanting to shoot people in the legs.
— Jean L.P. Jaurès (@larsp2740) October 2, 2019
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.