Crisis? How many times can Trump and White House officials say it

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By Doha Madani  with NBC News Politics
Crisis? How many times can Trump and White House officials say it

President Donald Trump emphasizes the term "crisis" in his address to the nation Tuesday night, a word his administration has used tirelessly in recent days.

Trump pushed his desire for a wall at the southern border with Mexico by characterizing the issue as a crisis at least six times in his speech, which lasted about nine minutes.

"This is a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul," Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen used the word 36 times in a briefing with reporters Monday on border security.

"The crisis is getting worse," Nielsen said. "So the issue is that the status quo funding, the status quo laws are not able to address the crisis that we're seeing at the borders."

Pence continued branding it as such in an interview with NBC News' Hallie Jackson on Tuesday morning, using the term "crisis" nine times in the eight-minute interview.

In a Democratic response to Trump's address, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Trump of manufacturing a crisis to push his agenda.

"Most presidents have used Oval Office addresses for noble purposes," Schumer said. "This president just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration."

Protesters gathered outside the White House Tuesday night, holding up signs that spelled out "fake crisis" in lighted letters.

The president's address comes as a partial government shutdown moves into its third week, prompted by a standoff between Trump and House Democrats over his demand for more than $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump has said he is considering declaring a national emergency in order to divert funding to build his wall without congressional approval, which some experts said could be met with a legal challenge.