Media, Dems Shift From ‘Manufactured Crisis’ to ‘Crisis’ at Border

Illegal crossings have increased recently, but the situation at the border has been untenable for years

Leading media personalities and top Democratic officials have gone from saying there was no crisis at the southern border to saying there is one in just a few short months.

Hosts on CNN and MSNBC like Joe Scarborough, Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, Nicolle Wallace and others went along with Democratic talking points earlier this year that the Trump administration had manufactured a crisis at the border to secure wall funding.

Illegal crossings have increased since then, but the situation at the border has been untenable for years. Now with increased reporting on poor conditions at border detention facilities for children, the situation has again been deemed a "crisis."

"He's lied so much about the realities of what he's calling a crisis," Cuomo said in January.

Then this month, he told CNN's Anderson Cooper he hadn't seen a "crisis" as "openly understood and ignored" as the situation at the border.

"Tonight, the president tries to sell a crisis that the facts tell us does not exist," MSNBC's Brian Williams said ahead of Trump's Oval Office address about the border in January.

"This entire situation, which many have argued is a bona fide crisis at our southern border," Williams said three months later.

"The big scam of the whole address was that there's a crisis. There's not a crisis," Wallace said on MSNBC following Trump's Oval Office speech.

On Monday, Wallace read a New York Times article about the "stench" at a holding center and said it put into relief the "humanitarian crisis" underway.

Scarborough accused then-Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of "lying" about a "crisis on the southern border" in January, before blaming Trump for the "crisis" there last week.

CNN's Erin Burnett used finger-quotes on the word "crisis" while previewing Trump's speech, saying he had to "prove that there is one." She referred to the situation as a "crisis" on her show OutFront on June 6.

Lemon said in January the situation was a "manufactured crisis" meant to distract Americans from the Russia investigation.

"It's a crisis, and we're going to drill down on some of the numbers from this humanitarian crisis," Lemon said on June 7.

The same goes for leading Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.).

Hoyer firmly said in February there was "no crisis at the border," but CNN's Manu Raju asked him this week if the emergency bill proposed by House Democratic leadership was enough to address the "crisis at the border." Hoyer didn't disagree with Raju's wording, calling it a good bill.

Schumer and Pelosi both accused Trump of manufacturing a crisis in January, and Schumer said in a floor speech that month that "President Trump again tried to claim there was a crisis at the border. The fact is migrant crossings have been declining for nearly two decades."

This month, Schumer is pushing legislation to "grapple with the real challenges at the border, and do more to reduce the number of migrants who feel they need to flee their countries in the first place."

When challenged last month on her words about it being a manufactured crisis, Pelosi replied, "Well, let me just say this. We have never not said that there was a crisis. There is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and some of it provoked by the actions taken by the administration."