/White House Circulating Gun Proposal That Trump May Not Support
White House Circulating Gun Proposal That Trump May Not Support

White House Circulating Gun Proposal That Trump May Not Support

Is Trump hiding from the NRA?
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

As the Trump administration continues its silly little dance around the possibility of openly supporting the common-sense gun-sales restrictions that Americans overwhelmingly support, the low comedy is intensifying, as this Politico report indicates:

The White House this week began circulating a much-anticipated gun background check proposal to Republicans on Capitol Hill, though it’s unclear if President Donald Trump supports it.

The punchline came pretty early in this story. But in case you missed it, there’s more:

The plan is narrower than a universal background checks bill passed by the House and pushed by top Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The administration, however, is distancing itself from the proposal and the president is not aggressively pushing it. 

“The President has not signed off on anything yet but has been clear he wants meaningful solutions that actually protect the American people and could potentially prevent these tragedies from ever happening again,” said Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman.

As far as the document circulating on the Hill, he added: “That is not a White House document, and any suggestion to the contrary is completely false.”

Is the document circulating itself? No, it doesn’t appear so:

The document was circulated Tuesday to Republicans by Attorney General William Barr and White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland.

It’s unclear, to put it mildly, why the attorney general of the United States and the White House’s chief congressional liaison would be shopping around a proposal that they might denounce at any moment. But then again, they work for Donald J. Trump, who is apparently trying to stay on the good side of an organization whose leaders are nearly as sinister and prone to shouting as he is:

“This missive is a non-starter with the NRA and our 5 million members because it burdens law-abiding gun owners while ignoring what actually matters: fixing the broken mental-health system and the prosecution of violent criminals,” said Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

And as it happens, reports Politico, the gun lobby has its own point man, former NRA staffer Michael Williams, inside the White House fighting the background-check loophole proposal. You don’t have to be psychic to predict how this is going to turn out after somebody’s — not Trump’s! — gun proposal is fully circulated. It adds to the fun that the president could flip and flop in every which direction before the deal goes down, all the while angrily attacking anyone who guesses wrong about where he is at any given moment.

White House Circulating Gun Proposal Trump May Not Support

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Trump stands to profit off the kind of bigotry presidents used to denounce

Another anti-Muslim group has scheduled a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago, prompting the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group to again ask the Trump Organization to cancel an event sponsored by such a group.

The Center for Security Policy, a Washington, DC think-tank whose founder, Frank Gaffney once suggested President Barack Obama was a Muslim and that Sharia law threatens American society, intends to host its annual Flame Dinner at Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 23. Tickets for the event start at $650, according to the Center’s website.

Fred Fleitz, the Center’s president and CEO, said the group was not deterred by the Trump Organization’s abrupt decision on Oct. 6 to cancel an event hosted by another anti-Muslim group, ACT for America, after news of that group’s dinner plans grabbed national headlines and drew widespread criticism.

“We are honored to have this event at Mar-a-Lago,” said Fleitz, adding that he has dined at the club many times.

Former Defense Secretary Mattis saved his Trump jabs for the Al Smith dinner

Delivering the keynote address at the 75th Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York, Mattis — a retired four-star U.S. Marine general — said he felt he had finally “achieved greatness.”

“I’m not just an overrated general, I am the greatest, the world’s most overrated,” he said to laughter.

“I’m honored to be considered that by Donald Trump, because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” Mattis continued. “So, I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals. Frankly that sounds pretty good to me.”

… “I earned my spurs on the battlefield … Donald Trump earned his spurs in a letter from a doctor,” he said in a reference to a medical deferment for bone spurs that kept Trump from serving in the military during the Vietnam War.

world view

Trump Is Letting Turkey Bully the United States

By Heather Hurlburt

The U.S. delegation got to announce a Syria ceasefire — but only after Ankara gave them a taste of the humiliation that weak nations endure regularly.


7 Unhinged Moments From Trump’s Dallas Rally

By Matt Stieb

Trump said that forces in Syria need to “scrap a little” and that Hurricane Harvey made Texas a “fortune,” though it killed over 100 people.

federal courts

As Trump Fumes, GOP Advances Party Goal of Appointing Lifetime Federal Judges

By Matt Stieb

The Senate Judiciary advanced the nomination of a lawyer who has never tried a case, a reminder of why the GOP Establishment tolerates Trump.

trump impeachment

trump impeachment

Poll: Only a Minority of Republicans Are Sure Trump Is Innocent

By Ed Kilgore

New findings from Pew suggest there are more Democrats certain Trump committed impeachable offenses than Republicans who are certain he didn’t.


America Owed Better to Elijah Cummings

By Zak Cheney-Rice

The congressman died trying to protect vulnerable Americans from Trump.

intelligencer chats

intelligencer chats

Is Annoying People the Right Way to Combat Climate Change?

By Benjamin Hart and David Wallace-Wells

Intelligencer staffers discuss the intentionally divisive tactics of an upstart movement.

climate change

Florida GOP Regrets ‘Lost’ Decade on Climate Change

By Matt Stieb

The party is recovering from Rick Scott’s ban on using the phrase “climate change” ⁠— though isn’t quite ready to embrace climate policy.

Rikers Island is set to close, in a momentous change to New York’s prison system

One 886-bed jail will tower over shops and restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn. Another will be next to a subway yard in Queens. In the Bronx, a jail will replace a Police Department tow pound. And another jail will rise in the shadow of City Hall in Manhattan.

That is at the heart of a plan for a landmark overhaul of New York City’s corrections system, which will culminate with the closing of Rikers Island, the jail complex with nearly 10,000 beds that has become notorious for chronic abuse, neglect and mismanagement.

The City Council approved the proposal on Thursday, a decision that seemed nearly impossible just a few years ago and that supporters say immediately places New York City at the forefront of a national movement to reverse decades of mass incarceration that disproportionately affected black and Hispanic people.

You could also just say nothing

Sen CRAMER on holding the G7 at Trump Doral: “I don’t have any concerns about it other than just politically how it appears.”

“It may seem careless politically, but on the other hand there’s tremendous integrity in his boldness and his transparency,” he says.


foreign policy

Pence Says Turkey Has Agreed to Cease-fire in Syria

By Eric Levitz

Turkey has reportedly agreed to halt its invasion for five days so that Kurdish forces can peacefully withdraw from the contested region.

Another one bites the dust

Scoop: Energy sec Rick Perry notified the president in writing on Air Force One on the way to Texas that he will be leaving his post soon, sources tell me, @jendeben and @AriNatter.


the national interest

the national interest

‘We Do That All the Time, Get Over It.’ Mulvaney Boasts About Ukraine Plot

By Jonathan Chait

Administration no longer denying the quid pro quo.

Always good when your own Justice Department contradicts you

Mulvaney: Ukraine $$ withheld over “whether or not they were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our DOJ.”

DOJ Official: “If the White House was withholding aid in regards to the cooperation of any investigation at the Department of Justice, that is news to us.”


Correct sentiment from Mitt

“What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history,” Romney says


medicare for all

medicare for all

Biden’s Attacks on Medicare for All Undermine the Entire Democratic Agenda

By Eric Levitz

There are ways to oppose single-payer without demonizing the very concept of tax-financed social programs. Biden’s picked one that does.

Of course he is



Trump brags about selling out the Kurds and making a deal nobody except the Turks was asking for

This is a great day for civilization. I am proud of the United States for sticking by me in following a necessary, but somewhat unconventional, path. People have been trying to make this “Deal” for many years. Millions of lives will be saved. Congratulations to ALL!


the top line

WeWork Is Slouching Toward Its Least-Worst Rescue Option

By Josh Barro

It looks like SoftBank is going to overpay again, even if not by as much as it did last time.

Surely a Democratic president would get this kind of benefit of the doubt from Republican lawmakers

“Show me where there is a violation of law. I’m not sure that there is,” Sen. Rounds says about G7 being hosted at Trump Doral


Good news, but too late for hundreds of thousands of Kurds

Pence: “Today the U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria.”



Here’s Why Chicago Public-School Staff Are on Strike

By Sarah Jones

By linking up with SEIU Local 73, the Chicago Teachers Union has put up an impressive display of force.


White House Chooses Trump’s Own Florida Property to Host the 2020 G7 Summit

By Adam K. Raymond

But only because it was the perfect location for it, insists Mick Mulvaney.

No biggie

To be clear: Mick Mulvaney is acknowledging that there was a quid pro quo involving the military aid and a Ukraine-led investigation into a conspiracy theory that Trump’s former homeland security adviser calls “debunked.”


Utterly shameless

Mulvaney concedes that Trump’s desire to investigate “DNC server” was part of the reason Ukraine aide was held up

reporter: so it was a quid pro quo

Mulvaney: we do that all the time. get over it. politics is going to be involved in foreign policy elections do have consequences


He’s a selfless man

Trump’s Doral golf course has been having trouble filling its rooms since he became president.

Now United States taxpayers will put tens of millions of dollars into Trump’s cash registers.

Mick Mulvaney said this just now of Trump: “He’s not making money off of this.”


Jimmy Carter had to sell his peanut farm

Mulvaney says from the White House podium that the G-7 will be at Trump National Doral, Trump’s golf course.


More kids are killing themselves and experts aren’t sure why

Suicide and homicide rates have increased in recent years among young people in the U.S., according to a new federal report.

The suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 years old climbed 56% between 2007 and 2017, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of homicide deaths decreased by 23% from 2007 to 2014 but then increased by 18% through 2017. …

Despite concern over the rising suicide rates, researchers aren’t sure of the exact causes. A rise in depression among adolescents, drug use, stress and access to firearms might all be contributing factors, experts say.

Some mental-health experts suggest that social-media use among teens might be fueling the increase in mental-health conditions and leading to greater suicide risk, and some early studies have linked smartphone use to anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation among adolescents.

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