Updated May 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump refuses to pull out of NRA speaking spot in Texas

Donald Trump at NRA meeting
Donald Trump at the 148th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in April 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump confirmed in a statement Wednesday that he still intends to speak at an annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, which is set to take place in Houston later this week.

Driving the news: Trump's doubling down on his speaking engagement comes a day after a gunman killed at least 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

What they're saying: "America needs solutions and real leadership in this moment, not politics and partisanship," Trump said in the statement.

  • "That's why I will keep my longtime commitment to speak in Texas at the NRA convention and deliver an important address to America," he added.
  • "In the meantime, we all continue to pray for the victims, their families, and our entire nation — we are all in this together!"

The big picture: The tragedy at Robb Elementary School has brought new attention to many GOP members' close ties with the gun lobby.

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) slammed Republican lawmakers on Wednesday as "disconnected from the suffering of the American people."
  • "Too many members on that side care more about the NRA," Schumer added.

Sen. Ted Cruz faced backlash for his response to the shooting, in which he said he and his wife were "lifting up in prayer the children and families" involved.

  • "Aren’t you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days - in Houston, no less? You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted in response.

The NRA's annual convention will take place from May 27-29.

  • "Firearms, firearm accessories, knives, and other items" will be prohibited during the former president's remarks, the NRA said in a statement, noting that the Secret Service will "take control" during the speech.

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