WH walks back Trump support for universal gun background checks

WH walks back Trump support for universal gun background checks
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The White House on Friday walked back President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report 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.”

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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 MurphyOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates More than 30 Senate Dems ask Trump to reconsider Central American aid cuts Long-shot goal of nixing Electoral College picks up steam 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 Cornyn Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Trump struggles to reshape Fed Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks 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!”