The National Rifle Association has been roiled by controversy lately, leading top officials — like NRA executive Chris Cox — to resign. Former President Oliver North is being sued by the organization for “conduct harmful to the NRA” and New York State is re-examining the group’s tax exempt status.
Recently, NRA TV shut down, after top officials were accused of mishandling funds.
The group also faced controversy over its association with Russian spy Maria Butina. The Parkland student activists have targeted politicians who support the NRA.
The NRA’s meltdown has President Donald Trump’s re-election team worried, Politico reports. For years, Republicans have paid political fealty at the NRA convention. The NRA, in turn, has promoted right-wing politicians — primarily Donald Trump in the past election cycle — in Rust Belt states.
Now, with the group in meltdown, Trump’s team is worried they’re going to lose a valuable campaign resource.
Trump himself Tweeted an attack on New York State’s probe into financial misconduct by top NRA officials Tuesday.
“People are fleeing New York like never before. If they own a business, they are twice as likely to flee. And if they are a victim of harassment by the A.G. of the state, like what they are doing to our great NRA, which I think will move quickly to Texas, where they are loved…..” the president tweeted.
People are fleeing New York like never before. If they own a business, they are twice as likely to flee. And if they are a victim of harassment by the A.G. of the state, like what they are doing to our great NRA, which I think will move quickly to Texas, where they are loved…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2019
As Politico notes, Republicans are concerned.
“No organization has been more important to conservative voter education and engagement than the NRA. We all hope they’re able to mount the kind of effort in the 2020 cycle they have in the past,” Gregg Keller, a former American Conservative Union executive director, told Politico.
“But in case they can’t, given their current situation, I hope they’re being forthright about that within the movement so others can pick up the slack.”
“The situation has folks nervous,” he said.
National GOP strategist Chris LaCivita said the NRA’s collapse could significantly impact the election.
“Infighting and accusations playing out almost daily in the national media regarding the NRA have not been helpful. Clearly it will have an impact in the NRA’s ability to raise money, which would be used in elections to turn out its membership,” LaCivita told Politico.
Read the report here.