Trump: 'Real collusion' is Dems and cable news guests saying border emergency is 'manufactured crisis'

Trump: 'Real collusion' is Dems and cable news guests saying border emergency is 'manufactured crisis'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE said the "real collusion" story was Democrats and cable news pundits accusing him of creating a "manufactured crisis" in his push for a border wall.

Trump spoke with Sean Hannity during a trip to McAllen, Texas, where the Fox News host asked the president for his thoughts on the phrase.

"I saw on your show actually where you had anchor after anchor using the exact same word. 'It’s manufactured, manufactured,'" Trump said.

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"Sounds like they’re in collusion," Hannity chimed in.

"Yeah, little collusion," Trump said. "That’s the real collusion, OK? That's the real collusion. You take a look because they all use the exact same term. I mean literally the exact same two words.

"It’s a manufactured crisis," Trump continued, parroting the phrase. "No, it’s a manufactured soundbite because it was just a soundbite."

The president went on to praise Hannity as "real news," and called the proliferation of the word "manufactured" in relation to the border "very sad."

Trump regularly decries unfavorable coverage as "fake news." He has frequently denied he colluded with Russia in the 2016 election amid special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump orders more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions Trump: Democrats just want Mueller to testify for a 'do-over' Graham: Mueller investigation a 'political rectal exam' MORE's investigation into Russian interference.

Earlier in his broadcast, Hannity played a series of clips showing cable news pundits — most of whom are hosts or contributors rather than reporters — calling Trump's comments about the southern border a "manufactured crisis." 

Hannity also rolled footage of Democratic lawmakers in recent days accusing the president of manufacturing a crisis. Most of the clips were cut quickly and lacked the context of full quotes.

Trump has portrayed his proposed wall along the southern border as a necessity to thwart a humanitarian and security crisis, and a deterrent to drugs and crime pouring into the U.S. He traveled to Texas on Thursday to drum up support for the wall.

The president has demanded more than $5 billion in funding for the wall, while Democrats have offered money for other border security measures but nothing for the wall. The disagreement has been at the center of a partial government shutdown that has lasted 20 days and counting.

Trump indicated on Thursday that he's likely to declare a national emergency to direct construction of the wall, a move that is sure to draw legal challenges.