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Trump, Cruz scheduled to speak at NRA convention days after Texas shooting

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), former President Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are all scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) leadership summit in Houston — which will now take place in the shadow of a horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

The event, which begins Friday, has been in the works for months. It is hosted by the Institute for Legislative Action, the lobbying arm of the NRA.

The NRA’s website states that Trump will headline a “star-studded cast of political heavyweights” in what will be a “celebration of Second Amendment rights.”

Also included among the speakers are South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).

The NRA signaled in a statement on the shooting posted to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that the event would proceed.

“As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure,” the organization said.

It added that while an investigation is “still underway” officials “recognize that this was an act of a lone, deranged criminal.” 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is also featured on the speakers’ list on the event’s website as of Wednesday, but a spokesperson from his office told The Hill that “prior to the tragedy in Uvalde we had already informed the NRA he would not be able to speak due to an unexpected change in his schedule.”

“He has to be in D.C. for personal reasons on Friday,” a statement added.

A spokesperson for Noem confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday that the governor will be speaking at the event and shared her statement from Tuesday, ordering flags in South Dakota to be flown at half-staff effective immediately.

Abbott, Trump and Cruz did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

Cruz came under criticism on Twitter from progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) over the event.

Cruz called the killings of 19 school children and two teachers in Uvalde “horrific” and thanked law enforcement for their quick response.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to Cruz’s tweet by saying: “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.”

Updated: 3:26 p.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Dan Crenshaw Greg Abbott John Cornyn Kristi Noem Mark Robinson Ted Cruz Trump

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