Pollster calls Trump emergency declaration a 'personal emergency'

Pollster Dan Cox on Thursday said in an appearance on Hill.TV that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJoint Chiefs chairman denies report that US is planning to keep 1K troops in Syria Kansas Department of Transportation calls Trump 'delusional communist' on Twitter Trump has privately voiced skepticism about driverless cars: report MORE's national emergency at the U.S. southern border was a "personal emergency," adding that Trump was forced to make the declaration in an effort to keep his campaign promise on building a border wall.

"I think it's a personal emergency for him," Cox, a polling and public opinion research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said to host Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"He promised this during the campaign. He's been really adamant that the Mexican government was going to pay for the wall, and now that fell through." 

"Now he's a little bit left holding the bag on it, and I think, and I think he's trying to find a way out," he continued. 

"From a political perspective, it's dicey terrain for him, and one of the problems he's been having is he's been talking about what an emergency is with the whole issue of immigration, that a lot of his base agrees with him that it is an emergency, but the rest of the public does not," he said. 

Trump on Friday declared a national emergency at the U.S. southern border in order to secure the funds for his long-promised border wall. 

"I want to do it faster. I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn't need to do this, but I'd rather do it much faster," the president told reporters at the White House last week.

Critics have said the president declaring the emergency is a means of achieving a political goal and that there is no actual emergency at the border. 

The declaration has already been met with legal pushback as 16 states have sued to prevent the money from being moved from the Department of Defense to construct the border wall.

— Julia Manchester