The National Rifle Association and the White House are in full on crisis PR mode, assuring the public that Trump is not interested in gun control, but instead, is committed to supporting second amendment protections.

Wednesday, Trump met with legislators from both parties to begin discussion on what he hopes will kickstart the creation of a bipartisan, comprehensive bill addressing school shootings.

Many ideas were discussed, but one comment left most of the second-amendment loving country wondering whether Trump is willing to compromise their rights for political expediency. “I like taking the guns early … Take the guns first, go through due process second,” said Trump.

Watch here:

I discussed this meeting and the issue at length here. (TL;DR: When Trump speaks off the cuff on policy issues with which he’s clearly undereducated, I do not take him seriously. Add that to the fact that he changes his mind frequently and has a habit of tossing out all sorts of thoughts and ideas to see which ones stick, and I see no cause for concern. Lastly, Trump is not a committed ideologue in any traditional sense. He’s a dealmaker. Remembering as much helps keep the blood pressure within normal ranges.)

Republican lawmakers like Senate Majority Whip Cornyn called the meeting a brainstorming session, promising it would not dictate policy.

Because merely suggesting that gun control or due process are on the table is frightening and taboo, a tremendous amount of backlash ensued. Backlash to which the NRA, the White House, and Trump’s infamous Twitter account are responding.

Trump lunched with NRA leaders Sunday prior to the bipartisan meeting broadcast Wednesday. After Trump riled up half the country during Wednesday’s public meeting, he met (unannounced) with NRA lobbyists again Thursday:

NRA Executive Director filled in the precise blanks:

Friday morning, the White House reiterated the same. From Politico:

President Donald Trump remains committed to defending Americans’ Second Amendment rights, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a brief exchange with reporters Friday morning that followed hours after the president met with NRA leaders.

Sanders Friday morning emphasis on gun rights marked another volley in the back and forth between Trump, who has voiced support for certain gun control measures in the wake of a mass shooting at a Florida high school last month, and Second Amendment advocates, among them the NRA and members of his own party, who have continued to oppose such steps.

…Sanders on Friday reiterated that the president continues to be a strong advocate of the right to bear arms.

“He’ll continue to support the Second Amendment, that’s not something that he’s backed away from,” Sanders told reporters when asked if the president had made any promises to the NRA during his White House meeting on Thursday with the group’s leadership. “The background check system is something that he’s still very much interested in improving.”

What will come of the meetings, we don’t know, but we’ll certainly keep you posted.


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