NATIONAL (ABC NEWS) – President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning that there are “serious discussions” between House and Senate leadership on “meaningful background checks,” though Congress is unlikely to respond to last weekend’s deadly mass shootings until at least September.
At the same time, Trump, who spoke with National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre multiple times this week, said the “strong views” of the NRA and others should be “represented and respected” in any bipartisan agreement but stressed that “guns should not be placed in the hands of mentally ill or deranged people.”
“I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country,” Trump tweeted. “Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone!”
….mentally ill or deranged people. I am the biggest Second Amendment person there is, but we all must work together for the good and safety of our Country. Common sense things can be done that are good for everyone!
In the aftermath of the shootings, which killed a combined 31 people, Trump has signaled a willingness to support congressional efforts to craft a bipartisan agreement to address background checks and enact red-flag checks to prevent mentally ill people from obtaining firearms.
The Washington Post, however, reported that the NRA warned the president that changes to background check laws could cost him politically with the Republican base.
The president also spoke via telephone with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday.
“The President gave us his assurances that he would review the bipartisan House-passed legislation and understood our interest in moving as quickly as possible to help save lives,” Pelosi, D-Calif., and Schumer, N.Y., wrote in a joint statement.
The president and first lady Melania Trump visited Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, meeting with first responders, health care professionals and victims and their families from the shootings.