NRA warns Trump on background checks: report

NRA Executive Vice President and CEO Wayne LaPierre has warned President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren unveils Native American policy plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police Don't let other countries unfairly tax America's most innovative companies MORE against backing a bill to expand background checks for gun purchases in the aftermath of two mass shootings, citing the unpopularity of the measure with his base, The Washington Post reports.

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According to the Post, administration officials said that LaPierre and Trump spoke on Tuesday. During the exchange, the longtime NRA chief also reportedly took aim at the "bill’s merits,” as the newspaper describes. 

The conversation came shortly after the president expressed an open mind toward backing legislation seeking an expansion of background checks for gun purchases in the wake of shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that shook the nation last weekend.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump vows to 'always uphold the Second Amendment' amid ongoing talks on gun laws White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control MORE (D-W.Va.), who is pressing Trump on legislation to expand background checks along with Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.), told the Post that Trump also called him on Tuesday to discuss the measure.

Manchin said Trump “was inquisitive” about the bill, “wanting to know why it hadn’t happened.”

“He wanted to know all about it,” Manchin continued. “I told him we couldn’t get enough Republicans to help us.”

“If you don’t stand up and say, ‘This is a piece of legislation I support,’ we’re not going to get enough cover to have Republicans stand tall. They won’t be able to do it,” Manchin said.

Manchin also told the Post that Trump brought up concerns about the legislation brought forth by the NRA.

“I told him, we don’t expect the NRA to be supportive,” Manchin said. “Mr. President, in all honesty, when you did the bump stocks, they weren’t for you. They were against that, too. You didn’t take any hit on that.”

Though Toomey declined to go into detail about his conversations with the president on possible legislation, he told the Post: “I will just tell you generally the president is open-minded about this."