A new report suggests that Trump really, really wants to shoot people.
Sometimes there's so much news about how corrupt Trump is that we forget he is also profoundly vicious and cruel. Witness the fact his staff had to explain to him multiple times that he couldn't just order migrants to be shot.
A new book excerpt in the New York Times reveals just how much Trump's brutality drives his thinking about immigrants. Some of the "solutions" Trump came up with to block immigrants from reaching the United States are so cruel that they seem like a parody.
For example, Trump wanted to fortify the border wall with a trench stocked with alligators or snakes. Rather than telling him that was inhumane and outrageous, his aides instead sought a cost estimate. Trump also wanted to electrify the wall and add "spikes on top that could pierce human flesh." Earlier this year, it was also revealed he wanted the wall painted matte black so it would get so hot it would burn the hands of immigrants who tried to scale it.
This isn't the first time we've heard about Trump's more rabid impulses. In November 2018, he said that service members sent to the border should "fight back" if immigrants threw rocks. Trump's idea of fighting back against rocks? That the military should open fire because there's "not much difference" between rocks and guns. His staff had to tell him that it was illegal.
But telling him once wasn't enough.
After being told he couldn't just order the military to murder immigrants, Trump came up with the idea that soldiers should shoot immigrants in the legs to slow them down. His staff again had to tell him that it wasn't actually legal.
The Times article also reveals that Trump is untethered from the reality of understanding how immense and expensive his wall is. After designs and contracts for the steel barrier wall had been finalized, he decided he wanted a cement wall instead. Then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen had to tell him, "I literally don't even think that's possible." Trump has repeatedly been told that his vision for a 1,000-mile concrete wall isn't at all feasible.
Things are probably going to get worse. Staffers that even mildly rebuke Trump's worst impulses are pushed out, so only the most barbaric people remain. Now, Trump is surrounded only by people like Muslim ban author Stephen Miller, a virulent racist who has been at the forefront of eliminating comparatively less radical voices.
Soon, there will be no one to tell him he can't shoot migrants.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.