Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) on Wednesday confirmed to TPM that he has canceled his scheduled appearance at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston on Friday. Crenshaw was previously confirmed as a speaker at the event, which is scheduled to take place days after the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Crenshaw’s chief of staff Justin Discigil told TPM Tuesday that the GOP congressman is currently in Ukraine. Crenshaw’s office let the organizers of the NRA annual convention know Tuesday morning that the congressman wouldn’t be back in the U.S. in time to attend the event, according to Discigil.
Asked by TPM to clarify whether the Texas shooting impacted Crenshaw’s visit to Ukraine, Discigil denied the shooting impacted the lawmaker’s travel schedule.
“(Crenshaw) didn’t arrive in Kyiv until Tuesday morning, which is when we informed people that he was there,” Discigil told TPM. “His travel schedule and meetings in Ukraine were set in stone prior to his departure to Ukraine on Sunday evening.”
Crenshaw’s cancelation follows claims by Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) office that the senator had canceled his scheduled appearance at the NRA convention before the shooting “due to an unexpected change in his schedule” and that he now has to be in D.C. “for personal reasons” on Friday.
TPM reached out to the NRA for comment.
In addition to Crenshaw and Cornyn, other Texas Republicans scheduled to speak at the NRA convention include Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Abbott and Cruz have not confirmed whether they still plan to attend. Former President Trump is also expected to address convention attendees.
The planned NRA convention in Houston scheduled for Friday has been meet with scrutiny in the last 24 hours following the tragic shooting massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday afternoon.
President Biden and congressional Democrats expressed nothing short of utter outrage in the wake of the attack, sharply condemning decades of political inaction on gun control in this country as they mourned the lives lost from the shooting. Most of those killed on Tuesday were elementary-aged children.
“As a nation, we have to ask when in god’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in god’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?” Biden said in a national address Tuesday evening.
An alleged gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas with a handgun and a rifle Tuesday afternoon and opened fire, killing at least 18 children and two adults, and injuring others. The suspected shooter was killed by police.