President Donald Trump logged into his Twitter account on Tuesday morning, and issued out a flurry of tweets and retweets in a short period of time.
One of the tweets he sent out suggested that a majority of Americans now back his claims that the situation at the U.S. southern border is now a “crisis,” a term that Trump himself had begun using in order to drum up support for construction of a border wall.
The issue of the border wall is presently stalling negotiations on fully re-opening the government during this, the longest government shutdown in American history. Congress, specifically House Democrats, are refusing to the more than $5 billion in wall funding that Trump wants. The president is refusing to sign any bill to fund government programs until he gets the wall.
On Tuesday, Trump stated — without providing a citation supporting his claim — that a majority of Americans now back his claim that illegal border crossings at the southern border is now a “crisis.”
“Polls are now showing that people are beginning to understand the Humanitarian Crisis and Crime at the Border. Numbers are going up fast, over 50 percent.”
Trump further stipulated that Democrats would be known as the “Party of Crime” if they didn’t change their opinions and support the border wall.
Americans don't want President Donald Trump to use emergency powers to build a border wall. That's the view of close to two-thirds of voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University last week. https://t.co/K29bMmPh61 pic.twitter.com/O8bNmNlXtB
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 15, 2019
No recent poll on the matter, however, seems to back up the president’s assertions.
A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll — conducted by Langer Research — on the issue found that only 24 percent of Americans actually describe the situation as a “crisis.” Similar polls that ask the question have not demonstrated that anywhere near a majority of Americans would describe the ordeal as a “crisis.”
Trump is a follower of conservative media, however, and it’s possible that he found articles — like this one from the Daily Caller — that gave him the wrong impression. That article has a highly misleading headline, one stating that, “79 percent of Americans think border is in ‘crisis’ or is a ‘problem.'”
Wording like that can cause individuals to believe in certain things that are just untrue. And it’s possible that it caused the president to believe that most agree with his own assertions on the need for a border wall.
Within the Politico/Morning Consult poll being cited by the Daily Caller, 42 percent say that there is a crisis. 37 percent say that there is a problem, but no crisis, and 12 percent say that there is neither a problem nor crisis at the border.
In fact, a more appropriate title for that Daily Caller article may have been “Most Americans say there isn’t a ‘crisis’ at the border.”
Findings within that same Politico/Morning Consult poll also highlighted that most Americans don’t even want a border wall at all. Although the numbers were fairly close, 47 percent of Americans surveyed in the poll said they either strongly or somewhat opposed additional construction of a barrier at the border, while 44 percent said they strongly or somewhat supported new wall funding plans.
All of this is to say that Trump is not being truthful within his tweet. Even looking at the headlines that seem to give credence to his claims reveals, upon further inspection, that most Americans don’t think the situation at the border is a crisis at all — nor do they support his efforts to extend an expensive and unnecessary border wall.