Trump calls for 'intelligent background checks' in response to mass shootings

President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE on Friday called for "intelligent background checks" on gun purchases in response to a string of mass shootings across the country, expressing confidence that Congress would come together on action. 
 
“Frankly, we need intelligent background checks,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a fundraiser in the Hamptons.
 
"This isn't a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat," he added.
 
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"I think with a lot of success that we have, I think I have a greater influence now over the Senate and over the House," he said. "I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some meaningful background checks."
 
McConnell has not publicly backed any gun bills following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, though he did note a background checks bill backed by Sens. 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.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Senate Dems lose forced vote against EPA power plant rule Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE (D-W.Va.) was once again getting attention.
 
That bill failed to get enough votes to move through the Senate after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
 
Trump previously voiced support for stronger background checks and an increase in the age requirement to purchase certain types of weapons following the 2018 shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. But he backed off amid opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The president said Friday that he believes there's stronger support for the issue now than following the Parkland massacre.
 
“I see a better feeling right now toward getting something meaningful done," Trump said. 

"And we did do things after Parkland," he added. "But it wasn’t to the same level that I’m talking about now."

In the wake of weekend shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left more than 30 dead, Trump has expressed support for background checks and "red flag" laws that would allow law enforcement to obtain court orders to confiscate weapons from dangerous individuals.

But the NRA has opposed proposals for stricter background checks and “red flag” laws, which would seek to keep guns away from people flagged as possibly dangerous.

Trump downplayed any opposition from gun rights lobby on Friday.

“I have a great relationship with the NRA,” he said. "They supported me very early and that's been a great decision they made."
 
—Updated at 11:19 a.m.