On Sunday, White House reporter Eli Stokols of The Wall Street Journal laid bare what he thinks President Trump might actually be hoping will happen in the shutdown debate.
After Sen. Chuck Schumer offered $20 billion to Trump's fund to build a southern border wall, Trump's rejection, said Stokols, indicates that the president knows the wall is more useful to him as campaign rhetoric than an actual structure.
"Twenty billion dollars for a border wall, that's a lot of money," Stokols told Kasie Hunt of MSNBC's "Kasie D.C." on Sunday. "So, why doesn't he want that?"
"You have to step back and look at the inaction from the White House," he said, "and the way that this president, whether he's a weather vane or whether there's some calculation to it, whatever it is."
"All the whiplash and the mixed signals leading up to the shutdown, you have to step back and wonder," he said, "if Schumer put $20 billion on the table and they said no, you have to ask yourself, 'Does this president want to build a wall or do they want to retain that issue and run and say, Democrats wouldn't let them build this wall?'"
Watch the video, embedded below: