President Donald Trump made a congratulatory phone call to National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre to let the far-right organization know that the White House was reversing itself and would not be supporting universal background checks for firearms sales.
Following shooting massacres in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Trump had argued the time was now for background checks.
“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks,” Trump argued. “Perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”
But LaPierre and the NRA ran an aggressive lobbying campaign against background checks — and appear to have won.
“But after discussions with gun rights advocates during his two-week working vacation in Bedminster, N.J. — including talks with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association — Mr. Trump’s resolve appears to have substantially softened, and he has reverted to reiterating the conservative positions on the gun issue he has espoused since the 2016 campaign,” The New York Times reported Monday.
Trump has now reportedly told LaPierre that the NRA won.
“Earlier this afternoon, according to a person briefed on the call, the president told LaPierre in another phone call that universal background checks were off the table,” The Atlantic reported Tuesday.
Reporter Elaina Plott recounted what the source told her.
“He was cementing his stance that we already have background checks and that he’s not waffling on this anymore,” the source said. “He doesn’t want to pursue it.”
Scoop: Trump called NRA chief Wayne LaPierre this afternoon to tell him universal background checks are off the table: https://t.co/GQ00JiyjUV
— Elaina Plott (@elainaplott) August 20, 2019