Trump gives base-pleasing NRA speech, teasing 2020 pitch

President Trump told the NRA that he, "didn't need a gun" to stop what he called a "coup."

Posted: Apr 26, 2019 1:43 PM
Updated: Apr 26, 2019 2:15 PM


President Donald Trump on Friday made a campaign-style speech to one of his most loyal political constituencies -- gun rights activists -- as he delivered his fifth consecutive speech to the National Rifle Association's annual meeting.

In dramatic fashion, Trump announced that he would not ratify a United Nations arms trading treaty and then signed a message to the Senate in front of an audience of NRA leaders.

'The United Nations will soon receive a formal notice that the United States is rejecting this treaty,' the President said.

'As part of this decision, I will sign right now in front of a lot of witnesses, a lot, a message asking the senate to discontinue the ratification process and to return the now rejected treaty right back to me in the Oval Office where I will dispose of it,' Trump said.

He said the actions 'reaffirmed that American liberty is sacred, and that American citizens live by American laws, not the laws of foreign countries.'

Trump then pulled out a pen and signed the document as the crowd cheered. After showing the audience, he said they all 'want the pen.' The President then threw the 'famous pen' to a member of the audience.

Trump also mocked Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' statements on voting rights.

'You see what's going on. 'Let the Boston bomber vote.' He should be voting, right? I don't think so,' the President said at the meeting. ''Let terrorists that are in prison vote.' I don't think so. Can you believe it? That this where some of these people are coming from? And they're the most popular ones.'

Sanders had said during a CNN town hall earlier this week that felons should be allowed to vote, even if they're still incarcerated.

Long-time ally

Trump has maintained a close relationship with the gun lobby and its activists throughout his presidency after the group spent more than $30 million to help elect him in the 2016 presidential election, rejecting a push to reform the nation's gun laws in the wake of several mass shootings in 2018. With 2020 on the horizon, Trump will once again be looking to the group to help galvanize gun rights supporters and bolster his reelection campaign.

But while the President will surely tout his administration's efforts to maintain the status quo on gun rights, his speech also comes as he fumes about Democrats' attempts to build a case that he obstructed justice based on special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

A crowd of some of his most loyal supporters often drives the President to deliver a speech full of red meat and attacks on his political opponents.

Speaking last year during the 2018 midterm campaign, the President delivered a speech reminiscent of his campaign rallies that touched on a range of base-pleasing topics and included an airing of grievances relating to the special counsel's investigation.

As he left the White House for the NRA's meeting in Indianapolis, the President continued to rail against Mueller's investigation and defend his actions.

Just as he denied ever directing his White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller -- as McGahn and others testified -- the President also maintained his right to do so.

'We had the absolute right,' Trump said.

He decried the special counsel as a 'Trump hater' and turned once again to his favorite term, decrying Democrats' inquiries following Mueller's report as a 'witch hunt.'

'We have to run a country,' Trump said. 'This is a pure political witch hunt.'

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 661673

Reported Deaths: 12573
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion906391639
Lake48389876
Allen35806635
Hamilton32056396
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Elkhart25376414
Vanderburgh21245378
Tippecanoe20000201
Johnson16336359
Porter15957270
Hendricks15813300
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Monroe10328161
Delaware9836179
LaPorte9761196
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Warrick7412150
Hancock7404131
Floyd7200169
Wayne6631191
Grant6424157
Morgan6084125
Boone608288
Dubois5903111
Dearborn547067
Cass544399
Marshall5423104
Henry542093
Noble509078
Jackson464566
Shelby460290
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Gibson401281
Harrison399663
Clinton395453
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DeKalb385178
Knox357285
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Whitley349136
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Steuben338155
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Wells258274
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Randolph225576
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Washington211027
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Starke188051
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177728
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Perry173235
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Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
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Crawford90613
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53311
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 967422

Reported Deaths: 17297
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1118511208
Cuyahoga954841746
Hamilton73202970
Montgomery47226889
Summit40110957
Butler35435471
Lucas35217765
Stark29301840
Warren22361276
Lorain21952389
Mahoning19402543
Lake18358305
Clermont18327211
Delaware16415135
Licking14939200
Fairfield14491159
Trumbull14283462
Greene13548213
Medina13347219
Clark12223336
Wood11492193
Portage10982160
Allen10762235
Richland10250206
Miami10006190
Muskingum8153130
Columbiana8103182
Pickaway8033101
Tuscarawas8016236
Marion7979137
Wayne7848219
Erie6858184
Ross6123136
Geauga6051128
Hancock5979112
Ashtabula5937145
Scioto5920104
Lawrence523174
Union511252
Darke5025124
Belmont490989
Huron4781117
Jefferson4781108
Sandusky475996
Seneca4652103
Athens463133
Washington460587
Mercer4581101
Auglaize455099
Shelby440769
Knox401186
Putnam3984101
Madison391447
Ashland378495
Fulton377964
Defiance3711102
Brown369042
Crawford356696
Logan353259
Preble352571
Clinton339964
Highland327356
Ottawa322767
Williams301878
Jackson289256
Champaign285846
Guernsey285834
Fayette267844
Perry267543
Morrow259125
Henry245565
Hardin243957
Holmes2430104
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Van Wert228849
Gallia221346
Adams215532
Pike214928
Wyandot209153
Hocking193549
Carroll180328
Paulding159723
Meigs134837
Noble128542
Monroe116136
Morgan100534
Harrison100432
Vinton76615
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