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 TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill 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 CollinsPresident tightens grip on federal watchdogs The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump gets new press secretary in latest shake-up Trump takes heat for firing intel watchdog during pandemic MORE (Maine), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisNorth Carolina Senate race emerges as 2020 bellwether The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus MORE (N.C.), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul volunteering at hospital after negative coronavirus test Georgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus McConnell: Impeachment distracted government from coronavirus threat MORE (Ky.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiLawmakers announce legislation to fund government purchases of oil Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves GOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus 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 NielsenHillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Sen. Kennedy slams acting DHS secretary for lack of coronavirus answers The 'accidental director' on the front line of the fight for election security 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 ThompsonDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Pelosi forms House committee to oversee coronavirus response Democrats introduce bill to set up commission to review coronavirus response 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.