US President Donald Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down, according to a new book.
The book, written by two journalists in New York, says Mr Trump suggested extreme methods of deterring migrants from crossing the southern border.
They included building an electrified, spiked border wall and a snake or alligator infested moat.
Calling the claims “fake news”, Mr Trump tweeted: “I may be tough on border security, but not that tough.”
Building a wall on the border with Mexico is one of Mr Trump’s main policy objectives.
The construction of the wall has now begun, with the Pentagon allocating $3.6bn to £2.9bn of military funding towards its development.
It chronicled a week in March 2019 when Mr Trump reportedly tried to halt all southern migration to the US.
According to an excerpt, the president privately suggested to aides that soldiers shoot migrants in the legs, but he was told it would be illegal.
Previously, Mr Trump had made a public statement suggesting soldiers shoot migrants who throw rocks.
Mr Trump suggested other extreme measures, according to the book.
“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,” reads the extract.
The excerpt describes Mr Trump ordering aides to enforce a complete shutdown of the US Mexico border by noon the following day, leaving advisers “in a near panic” and “desperately” trying to placate the president.
“Mr Trump’s order to close the border was a decision point that touched off a frenzied week of presidential rages, round-the-clock staff panic and far more White House turmoil than was known at the time,” the excerpt says.
Aides reportedly managed to change Mr Trump’s idea of closing the border, but the president later pushed out a number of senior aides who he believed were frustrating his immigration crackdown, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.