Trump on Guns: We Need Meaningful, Intelligent Background Checks, McConnell Is "On Board"

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President Trump spoke about calls for new gun control measures Friday as he left the White House for a weekend golf vacation. He said he supports "meaningful background checks" to prevent "mentally ill, sick people" from purchasing guns.

"We have to have very meaningful background checks," he told reporters. "We need intelligent background checks."





He said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was "totally on board." Republican senators, he said, "are looking for me to give a signal."

"I think now we have a chance to do something much more meaningful," he said.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think I could, but I don't think I will be there. I have a great relationship with the NRA. They supported me very early, and that has been a great decision they made. We have Justice Kavanaugh, we have Justice Gorsuch, and they feel very strongly about the second amendment. The NRA has made a great decision in supporting me, and nobody else would have one aside from everything else.

I have a very good relationship. I--I will change it. I have a great relationship with the NRA. I have a lot of respect for the people at the NRA, and I have already spoken to them on numerous occasions, numerous occasions, and frankly, we need intelligent background checks. Okay? This isn't a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat.

I will tell you I spoke to Mitch McConnell yesterday. He is totally on board. He said I have been waiting for your call. He is totally on board. I spoke to senators that in some cases, people--friends of mine but pretty hard line senators, hard line and when I say that I say that in a positive way, hard line on the Second Amendment and they understand.

We don't want insane people, mentally ill people, bad people, dangerous people we don't want guns in the hands of the wrong people. I think that the Republicans are going to be great and leave the charge along with the Democrats. I spoke yesterday to Nancy Pelosi. We had a great talk. I spoke to Chuck Schumer. We had a great talk, and Chuck Schumer, in particular, loves my China policy as you probably know.

I said I can't believe it, you actually like something that I'm doing. He said not like, love. So Chuck Schumer is--he is great on the China situation which we are winning and winning big, and China wants to do something, but I'm not ready to do anything yet. 25 years of abuse I'm not ready so fast, so we will see how that works out.

But on the--on the background checks--on background checks, we have tremendous support for really common sense, sensible, important background checks. Go ahead.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Time goes by, I don't think I am different, but I think the Senate is different. I think other people in the House are different. I think that people may be have their arm up a couple of years ago maybe they feel differently. I don't think I feel any differently.

I think with a lot of success that we have I think I have a greater influence now over the Senate and over the House.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some really meaningful background checks. We don't want people that are mentally ill, people that are sick, we don't want them having guns. Who does?

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: Well, we will see where the NRA will be, but we have to have meaningful background checks. You know, in the case of--in both cases it is possible they wouldn't have been caught, but in the one case, we also have to talk about age because he did things that were very, very bad in Ohio go, in Dayton. He did some things that were really bad. His school knew about it. When he turned 18, everything was expunged. We are going to have to get rid of that because you can't have that barrier. If they would have had that barrier, they would have been able to see, but because he was a minor, it was expunged. We are going to have to get rid of that barrier.

I--I think this, I think a lot of really meaningful things on background checks will take place including red flags, including a lot of other very, very important items. And the Republicans are looking at it very seriously, and I really believe that the NRA--I have spoken to them numerous times, they are really good people. They are great patriots. They love their country. They love our country so much, and frankly, I really think they are going to get there also.

QUESTION: When you talk to (INAUDIBLE) you talk to him several times did he warn you that background checks could cost you politically? And did you say to him forget politics--

TRUMP: No, no.

QUESTION: --we have to say something now?

TRUMP: I had a good talk with Wayne, and I like Wayne and as you know they supported me very early, far earlier than anybody thought possible, especially may not being a politician. And that support has paid off. We now have two Supreme Court justices that are phenomenal, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch--Gorsuch and I mean they are phenomenal people and they are big believers in the Second Amendment which Wayne is also an which I am.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: I mean they have been--there has been no president that feels more strongly about the second amendment than I do. However, we need meaningful background checks so that sick people don't get guns.

QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE)

TRUMP: I think in the end--I think in the end Wayne and the NRA will either be there or maybe will be a little bit more neutral and that would be okay, too. Look, look, the NRA has over the years taken a very, very tough stance on everything and I understand it. You know, it is a slippery slope. They think you approve one thing and that leads to a lot of bad things. I don't agree with that. I think--I think we can do meaningful--very meaningful background checks. I want to see it happen. So I have got a lot of support, and I also have the support of other people on the other side, and I think the Democrats and Republicans have a chance to really come together.



Watch Trump's full Friday presser:

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