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Trump calls for 'intelligent background checks'


President Trump on Friday called for "intelligent background checks" on gun purchases in response to a string of mass shootings across the country, expressing confidence that Congress would come together on action.

“Frankly, we need intelligent background checks,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a fundraiser in the Hamptons.

"This isn't a question fo NRA, Republican or Democrat," he added.

Trump said he’s spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), he said was “totally on board.”

The president also said he had a "great talk" with both Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) about gun laws.

"I think with a lot of success that we have, I think I have a greater influence now over the Senate and over the House," he said. "I think we can get something really good done. I think we can have some meaningful background checks."

McConnell has not publicly backed any gun bills following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, though he did note a background checks bill backed by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was once again getting attention.

That bill failed to get enough votes to move through the Senate after the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shootings.

Trump previously voiced support for stronger background checks and an increase in the age requirement to purchase certain types of weapons following a shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. But he backed off amid opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

The president said Friday that he believes there's stronger support for the issue now than following the Parkland massacre.

But the NRA has opposed proposals for stricter background checks and “red flag” laws, which would seek to keep guns away from people flagged as possibly dangerous.

Trump downplayed any opposition from gun rights lobby on Friday.

“I have a great relationship with the NRA,” he said. "They supported me very early and that's been a great decision they made."

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