Defiant Trump brags about his upcoming NRA speech as cancellations mount
US President Donald Trump - US President Donald Trump - Michael Kappeler/dpa

For more than half a century "American Pie" has been an integral part of American culture, but Don McLean – the 76-year old singer who brought the nearly nine-minute song about the death of Buddy Holly and other rock and roll stars to life – has canceled his appearance at the NRA's annual convention this weekend in Houston. Out of respect for the families of the 21 slaughtered children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, McLean says it would be "hurtful" and "disrespectful" to appear.

Also canceling this weekend are country music stars Lee Greenwood, Larry Gatlin, and T. Graham Brown.

Even the manufacturer of the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifle used by the Uvalde shooter has canceled their appearance at the NRA's convention, "due to the horrifying tragedy," Daniel Defense said in a statement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has managed to appear as if he's canceling out of a show of respect. The Republican currently in a tight re-election race is facing not only the horrific Uvalde mass shooting of 19 elementary school children and two teachers but the mounting evidence that lives may have been lost out of law enforcement's apparent horrific handling of the attack.

Abbott will not appear in person, instead using the time to hold another press conference. He will appear via pre-recorded video.

Donald Trump, the former president who is widely expected to be staging another run for president not only will attend this weekend's NRA convention, he is bragging about it.

"I'm making a speech tomorrow at the NRA in Huston and it'll be very interesting," Trump told far-right radio host Sebastian Gorka, who served in the Trump administration in 2017 and has ties to the alt-right.

"And so yeah, interesting time to be making such a speech, frankly."

Trump then launched into an attack on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans who has openly and repeatedly opposed him.

"But on Friday night, I'll be in Houston. And we'll be making a speech and discussing a lot of the things which you would agree to, and you know, you have to protect, you have to protect your Second Amendment. You have to give that Second Amendment great protection, because without it, we would be a very dangerous country frankly."

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