During President Trump’s official Asia trip, one reporter thought she could embarrass the President while on foreign soil.
An NBC reporter tried to humiliate Mr. Trump by asking whether or not he would “consider extreme vetting” for gun-purchasers in light of the recent Texas shooting. The President responded by saying “We could probably let a little time go by, but it’s okay if you feel that’s an appropriate question even though we are in the heart of South Korea,” according to The Daily Caller.
While speaking in a South Korean press conference alongside President Moon Jae-in in Seoul on Tuesday, the President answered questions concerning the state of the Korean Peninsula. However, one reporter questioned Mr. Trump on the issue gun control in an obvious attempt at grandstanding.
“You’ve talked about wanting to put extreme vetting on people trying to come into the United States,” reporter Ali Vitali said. “But I wonder if you would consider extreme vetting for people trying to buy a gun.”
“Well you’re bringing up a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed too much right now,” Mr. Trump said. “We could probably let a little time go by, but it’s okay if you feel that’s an appropriate question even though we are in the heart of South Korea.”
President Trump then followed up his statement, directly addressing the reporters question. “If you did what you’re suggesting, there would have been no difference three days ago, and you might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck, go out and shoot him and hit him and neutralize him,” he said, referring to Stephen Willeford, a Texas man deemed a hero after using his own rifle to shoot and strike the killer, Devin Kelley.
“I can only say this, if he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead, so that’s the way I feel about it,” Mr. Trump added.
When asked whether or not he was considering any gun control policies going forward, the President responded by bringing up the example of Chicago, which despite having the tightest gun control laws in the country, is still an epicenter of gun crime. “Chicago’s a disaster, a total disaster.”
“Remember, if this man didn’t have a gun or a rifle, you’d be talking about a much worse situation in the great state of Texas,” Mr. Trump reiterated to Vitali.
The President has repeatedly called the Texas shooting a “mental health” problem, as opposed to a gun issue. “I think that mental health is your problem here,” Mr. Trump said. “Based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual, a lot of problems for a long period of time. This isn’t a guns situation.”
Did President Trump embarrass this reporter?
The Air Force had recently acknowledged that the Texas shooter wouldn’t have been able to acquire firearms if they had correctly submitted his criminal history to the FBI, as required by military rules. Devin Patrick Kelley had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault against on his ex-wife, choking her on the neck, as well as hitting her infant son hard enough to fracture his skull.
As gun control activists continue to use the Texas shooting to push their agenda, the President, alongside his administration, remain committed to defending the Second Amendment.