Trump warns NRA ‘better endorse me again’ after Pence jeered

Second Amendment

Former President Donald Trump warned the National Rifle Association that it “better” endorse him for president in 2024 moments after ex-Vice President Mike Pence was mercilessly booed by supporters of the gun rights group. 

Trump, 76, told attendees at the NRA’s annual convention in Indianapolis Friday that when the organization endorsed his 2016 presidential campaign it was “a great honor” – comparing it to “getting into the Wharton School of Finance or getting into Harvard” – and that he expects the group to once again back him in 2024. 

“That was a great thing and they endorsed me very early and it was a great honor,” Trump said of the stamp of approval the NRA gave his campaign in May of 2016, after he became the presumptive GOP nominee. 

“We did a great job and they better endorse me again – or they’re going to have some explaining to do. They’ll have some explaining to do,” Trump said, adding, “No, I do believe we’re in pretty good shape.”

Trump appeared to receive the loudest ovation of the day when introduced at the group’s annual meeting.

His former No. 2, however, was loudly booed when he took the stage earlier on Friday. 

“I hope you gave Pence a good warm approval,” Trump told the crowd sarcastically, later adding that the former veep is “a nice man.” 

Mike Pence
Trump appeared to receive the loudest ovation at the group’s annual meeting however, former Vice President Mike Pence was loudly booed when he took the stage.
Indianapolis Star-USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa USA

“I heard it was very rough. It’s a big news story. You’ve made news today. I don’t know what you did, but you made news today with the introduction you gave” the former president added. 

During his speech, Trump alluded to New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the Trump Organization — for which Trump sat for a seven-hour-long deposition on Thursday, telling attendees that the prosecutor is “waging war” against the NRA as well. 

“The very same raging, radical left, lunatic attorney general that is coming after me in New York state is also waging war on the NRA,” Trump said.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to guests at the 2023 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum.
Trump also took time during his speech to allude to New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into the Trump Organization.
Getty Images

“Shamefully trying to destroy this legendary organization that’s been an American institution since 1871.”

Trump also touted his pro-Second Amendment policies while in the Oval Office, including withdrawing the US from the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, revoking an Obama-era rule that blocked some mentally ill people from purchasing firearms by using Social Security Administration data, backing rules supporting the 3D printing of guns and designating gun and ammunition retailers as critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“On day one of my new term, I will stop Joe Biden’s war on lawful gun owners – it’s a war, what they’re doing is crazy,” Trump vowed. 

“We’ve never been in such danger as we are right now,” he added.

“I will take Biden’s executive order directing the federal government to target the firearms industry and I will rip it up and throw it out on day one. That will be the first thing.”

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