Mar 1, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Day after unexpected gun proposals, Trump meets with NRA lobbyist

President Trump met with NRA Executive Director Chris Cox on Thursday, after a roundtable on Wednesday during which Trump took positions that are anathema to the group.

Between the lines: This is another reason to believe Trump's shifts on guns, like his shifts in a similar meeting on immigration, will be fleeting. Trump tweeted after the meeting: "Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!"

Flashback: Some lines from Wednesday's meeting, in which Trump proposed holding off on a major NRA priority on concealed carry, raising the age to buy assault rifles to 21 and, most controversially, taking people's guns away before they've had due process...

  • "I’m a fan of the NRA, there’s no bigger fan...but that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything."
  • "Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. You can't be petrified."
  • To Sen. Toomey, on why his proposal doesn't raise the age to purchase rifles: "You know why? Because you're afraid of the NRA, right?"

Cox says Trump and Vice President Pence "don't want gun control," but at the meeting on Wednesday Trump told lawmakers forming bipartisan gun legislation: "I'd rather have you come down on the strong side instead of the weak side."

The bottom line: Democrats were encouraged by Trump's remarks, but they know better than anyone that what Trump says at the beginning of a negotiation can change at any moment. For NRA and gun rights supporters, the meeting might provide some comfort that Trump, who received record financial backing from the NRA in 2016, is back onside.

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