Trump calls NRA's CEO today to personally assure him he'll stop background checks
President Donald Trump is beholden to the National Rifle Association - we all know that. But, the story is a little bit more complicated than that.
Trump actually wanted to pass additional background checks after the latest two mass shootings. His daughter, Ivanka Trump, even had the idea of a televised Rose Garden appearance, where Republicans could been seen as the champions and all would be okay in the world, since most Republicans actually support the idea.
Trump even tweeted about his support for them: “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.”
Then Trump decided to call Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association on August 7th:
“It’s going to be great, Wayne,” Trump said, according to both a former senior White House official and an NRA official briefed on the call. “They will love us.” And if they—meaning the roughly 5 million people who make up the NRA’s active membership, and some of Trump’s electoral base—didn’t, Trump reportedly assured LaPierre, “I’ll give you cover.”
The Atlantic's Elaina Plott, who scooped the story talking with an NRA official, reported further: “Wayne’s listening to that and thinking, Uh, no, Mr. President, we give you cover,” the former senior White House official said in describing the conversation. The president reportedly asked LaPierre: Was the NRA willing to give in at all on background checks? LaPierre’s response, the sources said, was unequivocal: “No.” With that, “the Rose Garden fantasy.”
Fast forward in time a bit. Now Trump is against background checks and today President Trump called LaPierre again to assure him that universal background checks were now off the table suddenly.
“He was cementing his stance that we already have background checks and that he’s not waffling on this anymore,” the source told Plott. “He doesn’t want to pursue it.”
All of this is major flip-flopping on the part of the president. He just can't make up his mind. All those hospital visits with victims of the mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, Ohio were just photo-ops then.
Trump maintains he wants to now focus on just mental health.
"It's not the gun that pulls the trigger, it's the person holding the gun," he said at his latest rally. This is thinking that the NRA doesn't mind the president talking about, so for now mental health legislation is the only thing Trump will support in order to decrease gun violence.