Trump Doesn’t Think NRA Has Much Muscle Left, But He’s Still Bending To Their Will

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before boarding Air Force One in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 18, 2019. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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August 20, 2019 7:58 a.m.
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President Trump has privately expressed to aides that he doesn’t think the National Rifle Association has the same power it used to have following months of inner leadership upheaval, The New York Times reported.

White House aides have reportedly reminded the President that the NRA’s supporters make up a significant part of his base and are likely uninterested in the ongoing turmoil involving higher ups that’s been plaguing the group for months.

NRA officials reportedly believe that they can prove they’re still an influential pro-gun group if they can get the President to backtrack on his latest push for “meaningful” background check legislation in the aftermath of two mass shootings this month that left 31 people dead. And it appears they might have been successful.

On Sunday, President Trump significantly cooled on his initial push for background check legislation and returned to his initial response to the shootings– parroting Republican talking points about the mental health of the shooters.

That all comes after Trump took a two-week vacation to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey where, according to the Times, he had multiple discussions with gun rights champions, including NRA executive Wayne LaPierre.

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