Trump pledges fealty to NRA gun lobby
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[April 29, 2017]
By Steve Holland
ATLANTA (Reuters) - President Donald Trump
pledged to uphold Americans' right to possess guns on Friday in a speech
that he used to revisit some 2016 election campaign themes from his vow
to build a border wall to dismissing a Democratic senator as
Trump pledged his allegiance to the powerful National Rifle Association,
the country's leading gun-rights advocacy group, at a convention
attended by thousands. Elected in part on a law-and-order platform,
Trump was the first sitting president to address the NRA since fellow
Republican Ronald Reagan in 1983.
"As your president, I will never, ever infringe on the right of the
people to keep and bear arms," Trump told thousands of people attending
the NRA's annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Trump, whose candidacy last year was endorsed by the NRA, marks his
first 100 days in office on Saturday with no major legislative
achievements but with a long litany of actions to loosen federal
regulations and review free trade agreements.
Stymied by his initial bid to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border
when Congress balked at funding the initiative, Trump vowed he will
sooner or later build the wall, which had been a signature campaign
"We need a wall. We’ll build the wall. Don’t even think about it," he
Politics and his unexpected election victory on Nov. 8 over Democrat
Hillary Clinton also featured prominently in his remarks.
Speculating on who might run for the Democratic presidential nomination
in 2020, Trump brought up the name of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of
Massachusetts and used a derogatory nickname he had adopted for her last
"It may be Pochahontas, and she is not big on the NRA," Trump said of
Warren, who had once said she had some Native American ancestry.
[to top of second column]
NRA Executive Director Chris Cox (L) and Executive Vice President
and CEO Wayne LaPierre (R) welcome U.S. President Donald Trump (C)
onstage to deliver remarks at the National Rifle Association (NRA)
Leadership Forum at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta,
Georgia, U.S., April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Pocahontas is a legendary Native American figure from the 1600s.
Trump later attended a fund-raiser for Republican candidate Karen
Handel, who will face Democrat Jon Ossoff on June 20 to determine
who will win a House of Representatives seat to replace Tom Price,
who became Trump's health and human services secretary.
Trump, at the NRA event, returned time and again to the theme of
responsible gun ownership.
"You have a true friend and champion in the White House," he said.
"We want to assure you of the sacred right of self defense for all
of our citizens."
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Tom Brown)
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