Trump wall defender's argument collapses after MSNBC host informs him it was always just a campaign gimmick
Joy Reid, Katon Dawson -- screenshot

A defender of President Donald Trump's government shutdown in pursuit of a border wall saw it all go down in flames after an MSNBC host drew his attention to a New York Times report stating the wall was a campaign gimmick cooked up by the then-candidate's advisers.

Appearing on AM Joy with host Joy Reid, GOP strategist Katon Dawson stood up for Trump's shutdown, saying it was important to get wall built while admitting the loss of pay by federal workers was regrettable.

That was when Reid brought up the New York Times report.

"Katen, you know I love you," Reid began sympathetically. "President Obama promised health care when he actually meant -- going back to when he was a state senator -- he actually wanted health care reform. There is a New York Times piece in which Donald Trump's own adviser said his promise to build a wall wasn't a real thing he was promising them. It was a rhetorical device so he would remember to talk about immigration."

"He wasn't promising to build them a physical wall," she continued. "He was saying, like, 'yes, we can' or 'build a bridge to the 21st century.' I joked about it, but if Bill Clinton said we are really building a bridge to the 21st-century, people would have said he was crazy. Donald Trump just said it because it was a great campaign device."

"If he told his base he's not doing it, they would be like, 'okay,'" she advised. "Anything he says, they would be okay with. Why not say it was a rhetorical device?"

"You can put the face on the wall easily," the chastened Dawson replied. "I disagree. You can see the numbers; people understand drug traffickers and cartels. They understand human trafficking and criminals and they understand the illegal aspect."

"They also now are beginning to understand how long the wall is and how big it is, 697-something miles to cover," he conceded.

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