A 2011 video of former President Obama joking that Republicans would someday say they need to build a moat at the U.S. and Mexico border and “want alligators in the moat,” is going viral after a report alleged President Trump asked aides about building a border wall moat filled with alligators or snakes.
“This was literally a joke that Obama used in 2011 to mock Republicans on border security,” former Obama speechwriter and “Pod Save America” podcast host Jon Favreau tweeted Tuesday night, linking to a CBS News article on a speech Obama gave in 2011 saying that Republicans would “never be satisfied” with his administration’s border security policies.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) October 1, 2019
“We need to triple the border patrol, or now they’re going to say we need to quadruple the border patrol, or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. Maybe they’ll want alligators in the moat,” Obama said at the time during a speech in El Paso, Texas.
Lis Power, Director of Media Intelligence at Media Matter for America, tweeted a clip of Obama’s speech on Wednesday.
In 2011, Obama mocked the GOP, suggesting they'd want a border moat full of alligators.
Trump made it reality.
Obama: "Maybe they'll need a moat. [roaring laughter] Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat." pic.twitter.com/ABkGNSU2PH
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) October 2, 2019
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump suggested placing an electrified border fence on the southern border with spikes that could pierce human flesh, alongside a moat with alligators or snakes. The president also reportedly suggested to aides that soldiers on the border be allowed to shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down, but he was told by officials that that would be possible because it is illegal.
Trump denied the report on Wednesday.
“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!” the president tweeted.
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
Despite Trump’s claims that he has not proposed a border wall with spikes on top, the president shared a photo of the design of the border wall in December 2018 that zoomed in on spikes at the top of the slats.
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