The National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre described the kinship his organization shares with Donald Trump after listening to the president’s speech at the group’s annual conference Friday in Atlanta.
“I was listening to (the speech) and … I was thinking ‘Oh, my gosh, this is a president that really understands what makes America unique are those freedoms that we have in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. That’s what makes our country different from every other country in the world,’” LaPierre said during an interview with fellow Trump supporter and conservative pundit Sean Hannity.
The organization was one of the few to endorse Trump during his vitriolic campaign against other Republican candidates and later Hillary Clinton, and would spend more than $30 million supporting his run.
During a speech Friday, LaPierre’s fellow NRA leader, Chris Cox, called Trump “the most proudly pro-Second Amendment nominee in American history, so we made the earliest endorsement in the NRA’s history.”
Explaining how they came to that conclusion, LaPierre told Hannity: “You know, we’re a grassroots organization I kept out there all over the country — I kept going ‘what do you think?’ And people kept looking their head, going ‘I’ve never been worried about this country until now.’ And I’d say, ‘what do you think?’ And they’d go: ‘Trump.’”
Last year, during the campaign, the NRA framed support for Trump as a Supreme Court issue, which fellow conservatives adopted as well, a compromise for Trump’s provocative demeanor and limited policy proposals.
“I always thought this election was about hope and about someone who had to change the status quo,” LaPierre said. “And here was somebody willing to put everything aside and go out there and take tremendous courage and, you know, go out to fight and save this country.”