A meeting between President Trump and the leader of the National Rifle Association appears to have resulted in a new quid pro quo to trade away bipartisan gun reform legislation in exchange for “support” during President’s looming impeachment proceedings.
The NRA’s Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre met with Donald Trump in the White House only hours after the Senate Finance Committee released a damning 78-page report detailing his organization’s illegal activities with sanctioned Russian officials.
Pierre instructed Trump to publicly cease gun reform efforts, which had gained some momentum following the public outrage over three recent mass shootings in the Texan cities of El Paso and Odessa and in Dayton, Ohio.
The New York Times reports:
President Trump met in the White House on Friday with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, and discussed prospective gun legislation and whether the N.R.A. could provide support for the president as he faces impeachment and a more difficult re-election campaign, according to two people familiar with the meeting.
During the meeting, Mr. LaPierre asked that the White House “stop the games” over gun control legislation, people familiar with the meeting said.
It was not clear whether Mr. Trump asked Mr. LaPierre for his support, or if the idea was pitched by the N.R.A.
Regardless of whom proposed to whom that Trump should stop gun reform efforts in exchange for a political benefit, it is yet another example of the President’s pay for play use of the White House and could prove to be yet another area of legal trouble for the president, as many commentators online seemed to think:
This is a crime. https://t.co/i5xy8Zipdn
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) September 27, 2019
Democrats made gun reform their top legislative priority this fall, and even Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seemed to be on board with at least minimal improvements in the system that decides which Americans can buy weapons and currently enables the endless slaughter of innocent people going about their everyday lives. McConnell said he would follow the President’s lead.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is leading talks with the White House and said that Trump’s aides were still willing to work on a gun reform bill with language submitted by Attorney General Bill Barr. The nonprofit Connecticut Mirror reports:
But on Wednesday afternoon, Murphy said White House officials reached out to him Tuesday evening, just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the beginning of an impeachment inquiry.
“They were pushing back on my pessimism,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to continue to talk to the White House.”
The NRA spent over $30 million on Trump’s 2016 election campaign, but according to the Times, Trump has questioned if the troubled group would be able to help him again in 2020 since the NRA has been barraged with multiple state investigations and embroiled in internecine civil litigation.
Yet today’s meeting proves that for all of its claims about onrushing financial insolvency, the NRA still considers its ability to enable gun murders in America and support a racist maniac president as a matter of social welfare.
And they have now appeared to have purchased President Trump once again.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.