CNN's Don Lemon questions if Trump is trying to cause chaos on the border so he can legally call it a national emergency
CNN anchor Don Lemon (screengrab)

CNN's Don Lemon wondered during a panel discussion if Trump was attempting to manufacture a crisis on the U.S./Mexico border so that he could legally declare a national emergency.

It was revealed Monday that Trump was purging his Department of Homeland Security and at the same time he's telling border patrol agents to break the law. To make matters worse, CNN's Jake Tapper revealed Trump is trying to recreate the family separation policy to use as political leverage against Democrats, whose more empathetic leanings prompted outrage.

Lemon noted that Sen. Chuck Grassley (D-IA) told Trump not to fire anyone else. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) praised former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Yet, when it comes to them sticking their necks out to protect the country from Trump's actions, the toothless Republicans are likely more bark than bite.

They're "not concerned enough, Don," said conservative columnist Max Boot. "I mean, I think they get concerned when Trump proposes to do something really crazy. Push 3 million Americans out of work, have the industry ground to a halt. People like Mcconnell were alarmed and Trump felt compelled to back down. But they're not expressing the right to outrage. They're hardly expressing any outrage at all about the family separation policy, about turning tear gassing women and children, about all the cruelty that is involved in Donald Trump's anti-immigration policy."

He called it "a disgrace" that he hardly hears a word from the Republican Party.

"Governing from his gut, is that the problem?" asked Lemon.

"Well, there's not a lot of brains down there," Boot quipped.

"Here's what I want to know," Lemon continued. "Is it possible he is doing this, creating the chaos because he wants there to be a crisis at the border. That he's creating this, it's backfiring, but he's doing it so it looks like a crisis and then he's the guy who comes in and saves them?"

Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio said that it's absolutely Trump's modus operandi.

"That's always been his method and he's also always believed he can hang in there longer than anybody else and that eventually by some circumstance the tide will change and he'll say, 'Look, it's moving in my direction, I must be right,'" said D'Antonio.

His comments seem to be in keeping with what former White House counsel Don McGahn said about Trump thinking he can flip 180 degrees and somehow it works out.

Watch the full commentary below: