The head of the National Rifle Association on Friday attacked the media and liberals in what he called the paid protesting of Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency.
“They’ve turned protecting into what seems like a full-time profession,” said Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “You’d think that for $1,500 a week, they’d at least know what they’re protesting.”
It’s unclear where LaPierre got the $1,500 figure, but claims of paid protesters have been debunked in the past.
The NRA could not be reached for comment.
LaPierre said the left has billions of dollars to throw at protesters thanks to people like George Soros.
Among those in the liberal movement, LaPierre said, “are some of the most radical political elements there are. Anarchists, Marxists, communists, and the whole rest of the leftwing socialist brigade.”
“The left’s message is absolutely clear: They want revenge. You’ve got to be punished. They say you’re what’s wrong with America and now you’ve got to be purged,” LaPierre said.
“Another definition of terrorist is violence in the name of politics and criminal violence has no place in political debate,” LaPierre said.
LaPierre recognized NRA members and gun owners across the country for making a difference and helping to swing the pendulum in favor of electing Trump.
“In states like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, NRA members and gun owners helped put president Trump over the top,” LaPierre said.
But, if you ask Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, LaPierre’s speech was just another attempt at stirring fear and anger in conservatives.
“He spewed fear-mongering rhetoric with the ultimate goal of pushing his guns everywhere agenda,” Watts said in a statement. “Here is the truth that the vast majority of Americans including gun owners and NRA members agree on: the Second Amendment goes hand-in-hand with common-sense public safety measures that will protect our families from gun violence.”
LaPierre also attacked the media, blaming mainstream news organizations for producing fake stories and fanning the flames of rage on the left.
“Our country is under siege from a media carpet bombing campaign and America knows it,” LaPierre said. “Everything from their word choices to their inflection is trained on one target: purposely and maliciously destroying the Trump presidency.”
The NRA poured tens of millions of dollars into getting Trump elected, first moving to endorse him earlier than any other candidate in the organization’s history.
The president has said he is also behind the gun rights group in support of such measures like national reciprocity, the deregulation of silencers and the banning of gun-free zones.