HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said the odds of a deal on universal gun background checks with President Trump are “less than 50/50.” But he intends to stay at the table in talks with the White House which have become more intense since the latest mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
Murphy has emerged as the top point person for gun control legislation in the U.S. Senate most recently spending time Thursday night in conversations with White House legislative staffers and recently even receiving a phone a call from President Trump himself.
“One weekend ago, the President called me and told me personally that he was indeed serious about moving together, moving forward together on what he called meaningful background checks legislation,” said Connecticut’s Junior U.S. Senator.
Since that conversation, President Trump has spent time talking with the head of the NRA and has seemed to change his tune, saying that strong background checks are already law and that more emphasis on mental health is needed.
Murphy, who describes himself as a hardliner on pushing for universal background checks legislation, said that’s why he wants to remain engaged with the White House on this because his presence signals to some Republicans that the President is serious about this.
“The broad reason why there is nothing happening in the Senate, legislatively right now, is because Senate Republicans don’t know where Donald Trump stands.”
Murphy also said those Republicans don’t want to take a position on this for fear that the President will come out against them.
“If the President ends up taking a stand and saying, ‘this is a proposal I support,’ I think there’s a lot of Republicans in the Senate who would get behind it.”
While Murphy said he puts the odds on background check legislation passing at less than 50/50 … He said the so-called “Red Flag” bill being pushed by Senator Blumenthal and Republican Lindsey Graham probably has better odds of passage.