Trump had phone call with NRA’s LaPierre in wake of massacres

President Trump had a phone conversation with the National Rifle Association Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday,  just days after two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton,  Ohio.

Trump did not publicly acknowledge the phone call and it was unclear who initiated the conversation.

The two shootings last weekend resulted in 31 deaths and dozens injured. The massacres put gun control back squarely in the public conversation. All top 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have called for tougher gun laws. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., for example, has vowed executive action if Congress fails to act within her first 100 days if elected.

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The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, reported that LaPierre told Trump that endorsing tougher background checks -- which the president has reportedly done in private since the February 2018 massacre in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead, would not be popular with his voter base.

The NRA did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News seeking comment.

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Trump told an audience in Dayton on Wednesday that there is an “appetite” for such checks.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal, “I don’t want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate — sick people.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., told the Journal that if Trump supports his bill that expands these checks — and red-flag laws — it would be a “game-changer,” because Republicans who otherwise would not support the legislation, would be covered politically by the president.

Fox News' Matt Leach contributed to this report