WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/CNN) – President Donald Trump appears to be walking back his push for gun reform.
Trump and Vice President Mike Pence met with National Rifle Association executive director Chris Cox Thursday night. Afterward, Cox put on Twitter that the leaders didn’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
Trump confirmed the meeting in a tweet of his own.
Good (Great) meeting in the Oval Office tonight with the NRA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018
When pressed, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to provide a readout on the meeting beyond Trump’s tweet.
When asked why the president invited NRA officials to the White House on Thursday, Sanders replied, “He wants to talk to all of the big stakeholders in this process.”
“I don’t think the NRA has had concerns with this president. He’s been very committed to supporting the second amendment but also looking for ways that we can promote schools safety and reduce gun violence,” she added.
When asked if the White House agrees with Cox’s assertion that Trump and Pence “don’t want gun control,” a senior White House official said, “POTUS believes in the Second Amendment.”
The meeting came a day after Trump met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss potential gun reform legislation amid heightened tensions over the issue in the country. During Wednesday’s meeting, Trump accused senators at one point of being “afraid of the NRA.”
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who had attended Wednesday’s meeting, reacted on Twitter late Thursday to Trump’s tweet on the NRA meeting.
Fascinating, since I assume the President told them about the support for universal background checks, raising age for rifle purchases, and protective orders he announced on TV yesterday. https://t.co/1YNDYbJdte
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 2, 2018
Democrats say they’re concerned Trump’s meeting with the NRA means he’s going to change his mind. They’re hoping this time he doesn’t.
“The NRA strategy is scorched Earth, they never want compromise, they never want change. In the past they’ve gotten their way, but they’re up against something new, the young people from Parkland and across the country who say ‘we’re not going to stand for this’,” said Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer.
The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, in which 17 people were killed, has sparked renewed calls on legislators for action on gun reform.
(©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. CNN contributed to this report.)