Pence uses NY Times, Washington Post headlines to defend Trump's claim of border crisis

Pence uses NY Times, Washington Post headlines to defend Trump's claim of border crisis
© Greg Nash

Vice President Pence on Wednesday cited reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post about increased border crossings to defend President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE’s national emergency declaration.

Pence highlighted headlines from the Times and Post that read, “Border at ‘Breaking Point’ as More than 76,000 Unauthorized Migrants Cross in a Month” and “Family migration, already at record levels, rocketed to new high in February,” respectively.

The outlets are subjected to frequent derision from Trump, who has slammed them as "The Failing New York Times" and "The Amazon Washington Post," referring to its ownership by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

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Last month, following a Times report on his efforts to influence the investigations of him and his associates, Trump went so far as to call the paper a "true enemy of the people."

The message comes as Senate Republicans prepare to issue a rare rebuke of Trump and vote for a resolution to block his national emergency declaration.

The White House is currently waging a pressure campaign to prevent Republicans from defecting and joining the 47 Senate Democrats who will likely support the House-passed resolution. 

GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsIs a trap being set for Trump in the Senate trial? The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial MORE (Maine), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report Democrats spend big to put Senate in play Group of veterans call on lawmakers to support impeachment, 'put country over politics' MORE (N.C.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Pentagon to take bigger role in vetting foreign students after Pensacola shooting Overnight Defense: House passes compromise defense bill | Turkey sanctions advance in Senate over Trump objections | Top general says military won't be 'raping, burning and pillaging' after Trump pardons MORE (Ky.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiIs a trap being set for Trump in the Senate trial? The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by AdvaMed — House panel delays impeachment vote until Friday Senate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial MORE (Alaska) have already expressed their support for the legislation, citing concerns that the emergency declaration violates Congress’s constitutional duty to appropriate federal funds. Their support gives the measure enough votes to pass the upper chamber after clearing the House last week.

Paul has suggested that at least 10 more Republicans back the resolution.

Trump declared the emergency last month after a congressional funding bill failed to meet his demand that $5.7 billion be appropriated for his border wall. The emergency declaration allocates roughly $8 billion for barriers along the Mexican border. 

The White House has repeatedly cited a rise in border apprehensions to further its argument that the nation is facing an immigration crisis at the southern border.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report Hillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Minority lawmakers call out Google for hiring former Trump DHS official MORE testified in front of the House Homeland Security Committee Wednesday to defend the declaration, saying that further influxes of migrants could "overwhelm" the immigration system.

"Although we may disagree on solutions, I hope there can be a consensus that the current system isn’t working and that this is an emergency," Nielsen said in her opening statement.

Democrats did not appear to buy her argument, however, with committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonOvernight Defense: Watchdog to audit company's border wall contract | Pentagon to step up vetting of foreign students after Pensacola | Report finds former defense official sexually harassed staffers Senate bill would give DHS cyber agency subpoena powers Pentagon watchdog to audit North Dakota company's border wall contract MORE (D-Miss.) saying the wall is just a photo opportunity for the president.

"The president wants to build a wall so there is something to point to, or have his picture taken in front of, to convince the American people he has border security figured out," Thompson said.