The White House on Friday walked back President Trump’s apparent endorsement of universal background checks for gun purchases after Trump met privately with top NRA officials.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the president supports “not necessarily universal background checks, but certainly improving the background check system.”
“He wants to see what that legislation, the final piece of it looks like,” she added. “Universal means something different to a lot of people. He certainly wants to focus and improve on the background check system.”
Sanders’s comments come one night after Trump met privately with representatives from the National Rifle Association (NRA). She said the president promised the NRA “only that he’ll continue to support the Second Amendment.”
Trump tweeted Thursday that he had a “Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!”
Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018
NRA lobbyist Chris Cox tweeted about his meeting with the president and Vice President Pence: “We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control.”
I had a great meeting tonight with @realDonaldTrump & @VP. We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control. #NRA #MAGA
— Chris Cox (@ChrisCoxNRA) March 2, 2018
Sanders’s remarks come just two days after Trump voiced his support for several gun control proposals during a meeting with GOP and Democratic lawmakers that aired live on television.
During the Wednesday meeting, Trump appeared to back Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-Conn.) assertion that “Americans want universal background checks.”
“You have a different president now,” Trump told the senator. “You went through a lot of presidents and you didn’t get it done. You have a different president. And I think, maybe, you have a different attitude, too. I think people want to get it done.”