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We were never going to get a gun control bill out of this White House. We know that, we're not A IDIOT. But yesterday's news that Donald Trump traded away background checks for NRA cash to fight his own impeachment is a new kind of horrifying. And we're betting that suburban women in Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will agree.

Last night, the New York Times reported that NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre had just emerged from a meeting in the Oval Office with a promise from Trump to "'stop the games' over gun control legislation." And by "games" he means expanding background checks to all commercial sales including at gun shows and online, a plan which was supported by the Vanky Faction at the White House and opposed by her brother DJ and his posse. Sorry, baby!


The first version of the story, appearing at 5pm, referred to "financial" support and an explicit quid pro quo, although it was edited 90 minutes later to remove these.

The current version says, "It was not clear whether Mr. Trump asked Mr. LaPierre for his support, or what that support would look like." But it reports Trump is privately worried that the NRA is running out of cash and might not be able to kick up $30 million for his campaign the way it did in 2016, particularly as it's mired in litigation and under scrutiny by the Attorneys General of New York and DC. We can clear up the Times's confusion as to "what the support would look like" though -- gosh, will it be ad dollars, or will it be endorsements, or will it be political cover for any insane, illegal shit that Democrats kick up during the impeachment inquiry? The answer is YES.

LaPierre denied the Times's report, saying, "The NRA categorically denies any discussion occurred about special arrangements pertaining to the NRA's support of the President and vice versa." But he declined to elaborate on what they talked about, saying, "The NRA is not inclined to discuss private conversations with the President." Let's take a wild guess that this conversation went right into that Osama bin Laden vault next to the incriminating transcripts of calls with Putin and MBS.

If Trump wasn't under water with suburban women before, he sure as hell will be when the next mass shooting happens (God forbid!) and it turns out he sold the gun control bill for NRA cash. Which makes it all the more puzzling that he hit the panic button already, inviting LaPierre in for a meeting which was inevitable going to leak. Particularly when the NRA has almost as much riding on Trump's re-election as Trump himself does.

Yesterday Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee released a report labeling the NRA a "foreign asset" of Russia and accusing it of using tax-exempt dollars to support the private business interests of its leadership. We won't go into all boringass tax law details on a Saturday, but the bottom line is, if Democrats take the White House in 2020 and appoint a real IRS commissioner, the NRA will be in DEEP SHIT. Even deeper than they're already in with NYAG Letitia James. Conversely, the Committee's Republicans gave the NRA a clean bill of health and bought Wayne's explanation that his longterm secretary Millie Hallow just messed up the records by saying that Wayne LaPierre had agreed to foot the bill for that Fun'n'Gunz field trip to Moscow with Russian spy Maria Butina back in 2015.

Check out this statement in the New York Times by NRA chief of staff Josh Powell, who may or may not have strained the gun group's budget even further with his own little #MeToo problem, throwing Hallow under the bus.

In order to facilitate the transfer of funds to [former NRA President Pete] Brownell, Millie falsely stated that Wayne approved of certain expenses when he had not. In fact, Millie apologized to me (and others) later for the misrepresentation.

He's a charmer, ain't he? The point is, the NRA goons need Donald Trump as much as he needs them, so there was no need to hang out a sign announcing that Trump was selling the gun bill for cash to fight the impeachment. But President Pantsload isn't thinking straight lately, so look for a whole lot more of these unforced errors.

TL, DR? Fuck all these gun whores. The end.

[NYT / Politico / NYT, again]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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