A White House official disputed claims President Donald Trump told NRA boss Wayne LaPierre that universal background checks for potential gun purchasers are off the table, saying "meaningful" new background checks remained a legislative option, Fox News reports.
The Atlantic on Tuesday published a report claiming Trump phoned LaPierre on Aug. 7 and told him universal background checks were off the table.
"He was cementing his stance that we already have background checks and that he's not waffling on this anymore," a source told The Atlantic reporter. "He doesn't want to pursue it."
Trump, the source said, told LaPierre he wanted to focus on "increasing funding" for mental healthcare and directing attorneys general across the country to start prosecuting "gun crime" through federal firearms charges from the Justice Department, per the news outlet.
LaPierre on Tuesday tweeted:
'"I spoke to the president today. We discussed the best ways to prevent these types of tragedies. @realDonaldTrump is a strong #2A President and supports our Right to Keep and Bear Arms!"
Following mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, two weeks ago, Trump told reporters "we need intelligent background checks," adding, it was not "a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat."
But he appeared to walk back his comments last Sunday, citing a "big mental health problem" instead.
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