October 2, 2019

When I first heard this story, my mind kept going back to Vlad the Impaler, who was said to put the heads of his enemies on pikes outside his walls. Same personal style, you know?

"In a flood of unusual stories, unprecedented stories, this one is particularly remarkable. The New York Times pulling back the curtain on what it's like to work in the Trump White House," CNN's Jim Sciutto said.

"Listen to their reporting on a particular Oval Office meeting. I'm gonna quote here, 'the Oval Office meeting this past March began with President Trump fuming about migrants. This time he had a solution. White House advisers listened, astonished, as he ordered them to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico by noon the next day. Advisers feared the president's edict would trap American tourists in Mexico, strand children at schools on both sides of the border, and create an economic meltdown in the two countries. Yet they knew how much the president's zeal to stop immmigration had sent him lurching for solutions, one more extreme than the next.

"The article goes on to read that 'privately, the president talked about fortifying the border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes and 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 they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That's not allowed either."

"They're not allowed because it's against the law," Jim Sciutto noted.

"CNN's Washington correspondent Joe Johns is live at the White House. Is the White House denying this?"

"They haven't said much, because there's a lot going on," Johns said.

"You have to imagine in your mind the secretary of state, the chief of staff, Jared Kushner, the Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a room with the president, and the picture the book and this story paints is that the president is raging because he can't get anything done that he wants to. One example here, he looks at them and says, 'You're making me look look an idiot.' He's shouting, according to this book. He throws in some profanity and says, 'I ran on this. It's my issue.'

"Certainly it is his issue. But as a lot of people have noted, the president made some pretty outlandish promises and claims during the campaign, including making Mexico pay for the wall -- which everyone knew wasn't going to happen."

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