August 25, 2019

Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control | TheHill

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSecurity analyst calls Trump’s language on Hong Kong protests ‘inappropriate’ Americans’ opinions about China hit record low: survey Pentagon watchdog says it is officially reviewing billion ‘war cloud’ contract MORE said Tuesday he spoke with Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyFive proposals Congress is eyeing after mass shootings McConnell faces pressure to bring Senate back for gun legislation Psychological association warns against blaming mass shootings on mental illness MORE (D-Conn.) about pressing forward on background checks in the wake of recent mass shootings.

“We had a very good conversation. We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters while en route to a speech in Pennsylvania.

Murphy has been a leading advocate for more gun control laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in his state in 2012. He tweeted Tuesday that he’d spoken with Trump and Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinIvanka Trump talking to lawmakers about gun reform legislation: report The Hill’s Morning Report – More talk on guns; many questions on Epstein’s death Five factors that will determine gun control debate MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump’s ‘due process’ remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) about support for background checks legislation.

“We continue to work to find common ground, but as I told the President, we can’t get a bill if he and the GOP give the gun lobby veto power,” Murphy tweeted.

I’ve spoken to @POTUS as well as @Sen_JoeManchin and @SenToomey over the past several days re our background checks bills. We continue to work to find common ground, but as I told the President, we can’t get a bill if he and the GOP give the gun lobby veto power.

— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 13, 2019

The president has been adamant that he supports passing stronger background checks after back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, left more than 30 people dead and dozens wounded. But it’s unclear if there will be enough GOP support in the Senate to pass such legislation.

Trump on Tuesday reiterated that he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSecurity analyst calls Trump’s language on Hong Kong protests ‘inappropriate’ Democratic group pressing Hickenlooper to drop White House bid, run for Senate Schumer to call for Trump to fight gun violence, white supremacy with border wall funds MORE (R-Ky.) is in favor of taking action on gun safety.

“Look, it’s very simple: There is nobody more pro-Second Amendment than Donald Trump, but I don’t want guns in the hands of a lunatic or a maniac,” he said. “And I think if we do proper background checks, we can prevent that.”

But there is reason to be skeptical. Trump has in the past voiced support for stronger gun laws only to back off amid pressure from the National Rifle Association and limited GOP buy-in.

Manchin and Toomey previously unveiled background check legislation which failed by six votes in the Senate in 2013 following the Sandy Hook shooting. It is unclear whether attitudes have shifted enough to change the outcome in 2019.

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Brett Samuels
The Hill

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