Senate Dem: Trump 'trying to have it both ways' on guns

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyLawmakers feel pressure on guns Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting MORE (D-Conn.) said on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE’s vacillating tone on gun control shows that Trump is “trying to have it both ways.”

“I think he knows that the mood of the country has shifted such that he and his party are going to pay a huge price at the polls in 2018 and 2020 if they don’t start supporting things like universal background checks,” Murphy said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“At the same time, the [National Rifle Administration] was one of his earliest supporters once he was moving toward the nomination as he was trying to consolidate the Republican establishment in 2016,” Murphy added.


“And so he’s trying to keep them happy as well.”

The White House last Friday walked back Trump’s apparent support for universal background checks for gun purchases.

“He wants to see what that legislation, the final piece of it looks like,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the White House. “Universal means something different to a lot of people. He certainly wants to focus and improve on the background check system.”

Her comments came after Trump last week stunned many in Washington by voicing support for many gun control proposals during a meeting with lawmakers that aired live on television.

Murphy said on Sunday that Trump’s instincts in that meeting were not wrong.

“If he and Republicans don’t start showing some moving in the wake of Parkland, there aren’t going to be as many Republicans around for him come 2019,” he added, referring to a mass shooting at a Florida high school last month.