8 times MSNBC, CNN hosts flip-flopped on border crisis rhetoric, from Chuck Todd to Wolf Blitzer

MSNBC and CNN pundits downplayed the notion the situation along the southern border was a crisis until suddenly shifting the narrative.

The theory that the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border was manufactured by President Trump's administration to score political points hit a fever pitch in early January as the president declared a "humanitarian and security crisis" during a primetime Oval Office address.

The overwhelming migrant flows and poor conditions at some detention centers have since become undeniable, resulting in prominent liberal pundits flip-flopping on the issue.


Here are eight examples:

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough

"He is going to be telling nothing but lies and falsehoods, and he’s going to be twisting reality,” Scarborough said on Jan. 8. “And at this point, I’ve got to say, how stupid are Americans who still believe there’s a crisis on the southern border?"

But on June 10, Scarborough reversed course and called the situation a "crisis" after all.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer

"President Trump will speak tonight from the Oval Office, trying to sell his border wall to a doubtful nation, as his administration uses falsehoods and misstatements to build the case for what it calls a crisis on the border," Blitzer said on Jan. 8.

"We're following breaking news on the crisis at the border," Blitzer said on June 25. "Is there a reason to believe this crisis, and it's a real crisis, involving kids along the border is going to be resolved any time soon?"

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd

"[Trump's] claims about why he needs the wall, who is going to pay for it, how is he going to build it, and who he thinks it would stop have been endlessly debunked and endlessly contradicted by his own statements and misstatements. Just consider this one: He is going to argue before the nation tonight that there is a full-blown crisis at the southern border," Todd said on Jan. 8.

But on June 25, Todd opened "Meet the Press Daily" by declaring breaking news regarding "the humanitarian crisis having to do with the migrants coming over the southern border."


CNN's Chris Cuomo

"You can build a physical barrier. But why say it's a cure-all to keep back this demonized group of people, like this marauding horde that doesn't exist. [Trump] created all of this. It's all bogus," Cuomo said on Jan. 11.

"Cuomo Prime Time" called it a crisis on June 6.

"Let's talk about what you're doing and what you're not doing on an issue that's a major crisis and importance right now," he said. "What's happening at the border?"

MSNBC’s Brian Williams

"Tonight, the president tries to sell a crisis that the facts tell us does not exist, and he used the backdrop of the Oval Office do it," Williams said on Jan. 8 when recapping Trump's primetime Oval Office address.

But on June 25, Williams said Special Counsel Robert Mueller agreed to come to Congress and testify "as this President is facing a crisis on the border."


CNN’s Don Lemon

"Let's talk about his imaginary Latin-American migrant conspiracy," Lemon said on April 24. "This is part of a long history of him making things up about the caravan and the border crisis."

But on June 25, Lemon sang a different tune.

"For anybody who doesn't think that immigration is a crisis, I got to show you this picture," Lemon said.

The "CNN Tonight" host then showed viewers a tragic photo of a father and daughter who died while attempting to cross the Rio Grande on Sunday.

MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace

"I think there are half a dozen things that were wrong, falsehoods, lies and you talked about a lot of them before the speech. But the big scam of the whole address is there is a crisis. There is not a crisis. Border crossings at the southern border are a 45-year low,” Wallace said on Jan. 8.

But on June 24, Wallace said, “There is a stench ... those are the powerful words written to describe the humanitarian crisis at the border now resulting in the suffering of children and infants as the president and his administration concoct a toxic brew of political opportunism and operational incompetence."

CNN’s Anderson Cooper

"Now, it's not our job to advocate for or against a given policy," Cooper said on Jan. 8. "It's our job to call out the dishonest pursuit of it. So, as we wait for the president to speak about what he calls the crisis on the border, we're starting with the crisis of credibility he's created for himself."

Cooper continued: "The number of people able to apply for asylum each day at a legal point of entry, that's been slowed intentionally to a trickle. One intelligence official has had enough of what he or she says as all the misrepresentation telling CNN, quote, no one is saying this is a crisis except them."

However, on June 25, Cooper said: “There is breaking news tonight, action in Congress on the humanitarian crisis on the border and we'll bring that to you as we go tonight.”