This morning, Newsweek reported that a fifth NRA board member had resigned, as the gun lobbyist group’s criminal scandals continue to worsen to the point that its ongoing existence is in doubt. Then this afternoon, the Atlantic reported that Donald Trump called NRA leader Wayne LaPierre to let him know that he was caving to the NRA’s position on gun control yet again. Wait a minute here.
These ongoing NRA resignations, even as the Attorney General of New York prepares to depose ousted NRA leader Oliver North about the group’s financial crimes, are the latest reminder that the NRA no longer has any real political cache. Now that the money pipeline from Russia to the NRA has been cut off, and LaPierre has spent all the group’s legitimate dues money on his extravagant lifestyle, the NRA is barely even funding any political campaigns or advertisements at this point.
We all know that Trump wouldn’t be in office right now if the NRA hadn’t spent tons of Russian money in support of his 2016 campaign. But the NRA isn’t doing that for Trump in 2020, because it can’t afford to. For that matter, the NRA is no longer of much use to the Republican Party at all these days.
Yet Donald Trump – who clearly seemed to think last week that he could turn his own toxic unpopularity around by passing some kind of minor gun control legislation – has now decided to simply cave to the NRA. This is despite the NRA no longer being of any financial or political use to Trump. We all know Trump doesn’t do things for the sake of loyalty, so why is he still beholden to the broken and dying NRA? It’s enough to raise the question of whether the NRA’s dealings with Russia left it with dirt on Trump that it’s still using against him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report