“They have great power over you people,” Trump said on Feb. 28, referring to the NRA while addressing a group of lawmakers at the White House. “They have less power over me.”
But now Trump has retreated, putting forward a modest package of gun-safety measures this week that has none of the provisions opposed by the NRA that he seemed to back days earlier. The shift provides another example of the strong influence wielded by the NRA both at the White House and on Capitol Hill, where most lawmakers remain opposed to significant policy changes in the wake of the shooting massacre that killed 17 at a Parkland, Fla., high school last month.
“I think we could all see it coming. I wish the president had televised the meeting with the NRA like he televised the meeting with us,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said Monday, referring to a March 1 huddle between Trump and top officials at the gun rights group. “Clearly, the NRA was more persuasive than I was.”