WH walks back Trump support for universal gun background checks

WH walks back Trump support for universal gun background checks
© Getty Images

The White House on Friday walked back President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE’s apparent support for universal background checks for gun purchases.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump supports “not necessarily universal background checks, but certainly improving the background check system.”

“He wants to see what that legislation, the final piece of it looks like,” she 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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

During the Wednesday meeting, Trump appeared to agree with Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen This week: Border deal remains elusive as shutdown looms MORE (D-Conn.), who said that “Americans want universal background checks.”

“You have a different president now,” Trump told the senator. “You went through a lot of presidents and you didn't get it done. You have a different president. And I think, maybe, you have a different attitude, too. I think people want to get it done.”

The president has previously supported a more modest proposal written by Murphy and Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynInviting Kim Jong Un to Washington Trump endorses Cornyn for reelection as O'Rourke mulls challenge O’Rourke not ruling out being vice presidential candidate MORE (R-Texas) designed to bolster the existing background check system, but not expand it.  

Sanders’s comments come one night after Trump met with representatives from the National Rifle Association (NRA), a group that Trump urged lawmakers to defy on guns even though he long supported it.

She said the president promised the NRA “only that he'll continue to support the Second Amendment.”

Trump tweeted Thursday that he had a “Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!”