President Donald Trump flipped a complete 180-degree turn on background checks after saying that he was certainly open and interested in using that low-level “fix” to America’s gun problem after another week full of mass shootings. Fox News host Shep Smith, who is known for rebuking Trump’s politics and presidency, offered only mockery.
“The message has, again, changed,” Smith said at the top of his Monday show. “Remember calls escalated after the domestic terror attack in El Paso and the mass murder that followed in Dayton. The president said at the time, ‘We need strong background checks.’ Now, something new. First, listen to him yesterday.”
Smith played a clip of Trump on the tarmac speaking to reporters before returning to Washington after another vacation. The president said that there are already “strong background checks.”
“But remember: big mental problem,” Trump said, repeating the National Rifle Association’s talking points. “And we do have a lot of background checks right now.”
“That’s new,” Smith said. “We already have strong background checks. So, he was right. We need them. But now, we already have them. That is a new wrinkle in the history of ‘no change.’ Listen to what he said days after the shooting in El Paso and Dayton.”
“We have tremendous support for really common sense, sensible, important background checks,” Trump said, before bragging that there was no president that supports guns more than him, but that he also believes in “meaningful background checks so that sick people don’t get guns.”
It took just ten days for Trump to flip.
After the Parkland, Florida shooting, Trump told survivors and parents of victims he supported “strong background checks” and stricter age limits for gun purchases. The White House even issued a list of ways in which it promised to “secure our schools.” Less than a day after hearing from the NRA, Trump changed his position. From 2018 to 2019, nothing was done, but Trump said in a statement that they’d made “tremendous strides.”
“So after first saying, we need strong background checks, now the president says we already have them,” Smith said. “Remember, after the slaughter of innocent children at Parkland in Florida, it was: mass shooting happens, calls for change erupt, President Trump says we need change, phone call from the NRA, then nothing happens. But in this case, a new step along the step for saneless. Back to John Roberts. John, massacre, demands for strong background checks, NRA phone call, nothing happens. But this time, there’s a new reason: We already have strong background checks.”
White House reporter John Roberts noted that it was a change from earlier in the year when the Trump White House said that if stronger background checks passed the Senate, he likely would veto the bill. Indicating a veto means Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) won’t bring it up for a vote.
“We’ll see what happens,” Roberts closed.
“We will indeed,” Smith said.
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