On Thursday’s broadcast of CNN’s special coverage of the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, CA, former President Bill Clinton told President Donald Trump to ignore impeachment and pass gun control.
Commenting on when the Republican-controlled House impeached him in 1998, Clinton said, “Look at how much we got done in 1998 and 1999 and even in ‘97. We had very productive actions in all three years. The only really tough year we had after the Republicans won the Congress, was ‘95 to the beginning of ‘96—when they shut the government down twice. Once the public rendered judgment on what they thought should be done, I kept working with them. That’s just an excuse.”
Host Jake Tapper asked if Clinton had a message for Trump, “when he says I can’t work with these people, they are impeaching me.”
Clinton replied, “My message would be, look, you got hired to do a job. Every day’s an opportunity to make something good happen. And I would say, I’ve got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry, and they should just have at it. Meanwhile, I’m going to work for the American people. That’s what I would do. ”
He continued, “He did indicate a couple of times he would go along with this, and obviously the gun lobby got ahold of him and pulled him back. But at some point, denial is no longer an option. And the Congress is basically in denial of the consequences of doing nothing whereas, at least, the people opposed to it. The easiest thing to do if they don’t want to pass the assault weapons ban and ammunition limit, which I strongly believe they should. Just look at the staggering increase in mass shootings since the assault weapon ban expired. If they don’t want to do this, at least give a clean background check law. One that works in the modern world takes advantage of our information technology and basically doesn’t bend over backward to make it easy for people who have no business getting these guns to get them.”
He added, “In most of these cases, if we had an aggressive preventive program, it doesn’t interfere with Second Amendment rights, the Supreme Court specified, we could have prevented or minimized the damage. I remember at one point in the ’90s when I was president a study came out saying that if you got shot with an assault weapon, you were three times more likely to die from the wound than if you got one bullet in you from a robber or from another kind of handgun. So we just need to calm down and take this out of politics and give more of our kids a better future. I mean, it’s just—it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s—the political argument that you raised at the beginning is absolutely right. There were people who lost their careers in Congress because of that. And one reason we lost the majority in Congress in ’94 was because of that. But it’s not that way anymore. It’s now a voting issue for the people that agree with us. So if you’re just worried about the naked politics, it’s at least a wash, and people should instead do what is right for the children.”
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