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Murphy: Background check talks continue despite Trump Ukraine criticism

Murphy: Background check talks continue despite Trump Ukraine criticism
© Greg Nash
 
"I understand these are serious times but if the president is going to disengage legislatively he shouldn't blame it on others. I think what the president did is a gross violation of the rule of law but he is still the president, and if we can get some legislation does that saves lives I'm still game to consider it," Murphy told reporters. 
 
He added that the White House called him on Tuesday night to tell him that background check negotiations were "still on the table."
 
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"So at the same time that Trump is trying to claim that we're walking away from the legislative process on guns his team is pulling us back in," Murphy said. "I will stay at the table. I can walk and chew gum at the same time. And it's really up to the president whether he wants to walk away from negotiations that could ultimately get a conclusion." 
 
Murphy said the White House indicated they had not gotten a final decision from Trump about a proposal floated by Attorney General William BarrBill BarrNew DOJ rule could allow executions by electrocution, firing squad Clyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Five federal inmates scheduled for execution before Inauguration Day MORE to expand gun background checks, and weren't able to give a timeline for a decision. Senators had expressed concerns earlier this week that the impeachment fight would snag the gun negotiations. 
 
 
Trump name dropped the senator during a press conference on Wednesday, noting they had been trying to work together on potential gun reforms. 
 
"He's always, 'Oh, no, we want to work it out.  We want to work it out.' But they're too busy wasting their time on the witch hunt. So, Sen. Chris Murphy literally threatened the president of Ukraine that, if he doesn't do things right, they won't have Democrat support in Congress," Trump said Wednesday.
 
Giuliani also knocked him during a Fox News interview on Tuesday, accusing Murphy of telling Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky "that if he cooperates with the president they’ll cut off aid. ... Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight MORE should be outraged at Chris Murphy.” 
 
 
Trump's and Giuliani's comments come as a whistleblower complaint tied to Trump's actions toward Ukraine, as well as a call Trump had with Zelensky where he asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE, have fueled new impeachment calls. Murphy endorsed an impeachment inquiry this week.
 
Murphy said Wednesday that he "made it clear" to Zelensky that he "should not be taking orders from the Trump campaign and that if were to be perceived as interfering in the 2020 election that it would greatly compromise his credibility. I absolutely stand by what I said. 100 percent."
 
Asked what he thought about Trump calling him out during the press conference, he added that he "got a preview last night when Rudy Giuliani called for my impeachment so I had a feeling that their focus may be turning to me."