President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met Thursday night with the National Rifle Association (NRA) in the Oval Office in an apparent effort to iron out emerging differences over pending gun legislation.
The meeting was revealed in a series of tweets — first by Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action:
I had a great meeting tonight with @realDonaldTrump & @VP. We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control. #NRA #MAGA
— Chris Cox (@ChrisCoxNRA) March 2, 2018
About an hour later, President Trump tweeted:
Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018
Earlier Thursday, Trump had tweeted his support for the Second Amendment in the face of criticism by conservatives that he had seemed to enthusiastic about gun control proposals in a bipartisan White House meeting the day before.
Many ideas, some good & some not so good, emerged from our bipartisan meeting on school safety yesterday at the White House. Background Checks a big part of conversation. Gun free zones are proven targets of killers. After many years, a Bill should emerge. Respect 2nd Amendment!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2018
At the Wednesday meeting, Trump had poured cold water on Republican proposals for concealed carry reciprocity, while talking up the idea of raising the minimum age for purchasing a rifle from 18 to 21. He also suggested that the due process rights of people considered dangerous — such as the shooter in Parkland, Florida, last month — should be overruled in favor of seizing their guns.
At one point, Trump had even accused legislators of being “afraid of the NRA.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.