Donald Trump's bizarre and cruel vision of the US southern border with Mexico included a moat filled with alligators and snakes to deter migrants from trying to cross.

The bombshell report in the New York Times detailed even more completely impractical ideas such as an electrified border wall with sharp spikes at the top capable of ripping human flesh.  And lest one think that Trump expected migrants to be scared and turn away, he also suggested that the US Border Patrol shoot people in the legs if they approach the border, a summary judgment of maiming people for getting too close.

"After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal," the New York Times reported, "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."

All this invited comparisons to the character of Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies, and his desire for a moat filled with "sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads"; or to the real-life Price Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia, the medieval despot who impaled the heads or bodies of enemies on stakes displayed on his borders to frighten enemy armies.

Trump brainstormed this stunning wishlist of cruelty during a particularly weird week in March 2019 when he was trying to reportedly tried to halt all southern migration to the US.  The report is based on the upcoming book "Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration" by reporters Michael Shear and Julie Davis who interviewed more than a dozen unnamed officials for accounts of the conversation.

Trump on Wednesday denied the report.

"Now the press is trying to sell the fact that I wanted a Moot (sic) stuffed with alligators and snakes, with an electrified fence and sharp spikes on top, at our Southern Border," and , "The press has gone Crazy.  Fake News!"

But the NYT is standing by its story.