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White House Daily Briefing; Republican President Says Time to Change Gun Laws. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired February 22, 2018 - 14:30   ET


[14:30:00] RAJ SHAH, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Today, that conversation continued with local leaders. The president knows the best ideas usually come from the local level and not Washington, D.C. That's certainly the case here. Next week, the president will welcome governors to the White House, and the top issue will be school safety.

I'd like to quickly follow up on a question I got from April Ryan last week. She asked about the Violence Against Women Office in the Department of Justice.

The president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 does increase funding for the Office for Violence Against Women by over $3 million. Our goal is to ensure this funding has a maximum impact, providing support and assistance to survivors, and combating domestic and dating violence, stalking and sexual assault.

Finally, two quick things I'd like to point out before taking your questions.

First, a new Gallup survey out today shows that percentage of Americans who are satisfied with the United States' standing in the world is increased by 13 percentage points in a single year under this president. That is a 13-year high.

And last, but certainly not least, I'd like to offer congratulations to one of your colleagues who's not here today, Margaret Brennan, who was just announced as the new host of "Face The Nation."

So with that, I'll take your questions. I'll start with Major.

QUESTION: Thank you, Raj.

Would you summarize for us what the president intends to do in terms of legislation he will propose to Congress about guns?

He raised a lot of issues yesterday. He raised them again today in the second listening session. Is he going to send a bill to Congress, authored by him and this administration outlining what he wants? Or is he going to leave it to Congress to decide what to propose and what to vote for?

SHAH: Well, the president is proposing ideas. He's listening right now. He's been talking about a series of ideas. He's talked about strengthening background checks, right, with an emphasis on mental health? He's also talked about raising the age for some gun sales. He's talked about ending bump stocks -- the sale of bump stocks. And, you know, there's also state laws that have been on the books and that we're continuing to look at.

So, right now we're in a listening phase. I wouldn't say that we are or aren't going to propose something that is as specific as legislative language. But he's going to come forward later on with something a little bit more concrete.

QUESTION: For example, on bump stocks or any of these questions, the best way to approach it is to have Congress write the law and for him to sign it. Because he's been pretty specific and consistent on that point: Regulations are helpful, but laws are better.

Does he believe Congress should rewrite (ph) laws in conjunction with and consistent with the priorities you've just outlined?

SHAH: Well, I think to -- to each of those points there could be a different approach. In some areas state laws make more sense. In other areas -- I mean, I think some states have had these red flag laws, for example, that remove firearms after you go to a judge for potentially dangerous individuals. That's something that's being done right now in a variety of states, right? They have due-process laws rights for these individuals. It seems to be working in certain areas.

That's something that we are looking at and other places are looking at.

QUESTION: Would you look at that federally?

SHAH: Right now, that's not -- that's not under consideration, but that doesn't mean it can't be.

I think what we want to say, though, is that on the issue of bump stocks that you outlined, he's already ordered the Department of Justice to look at...

QUESTION: But Congress (inaudible) look at that also.

SHAH: Sure.

But I think that right now he's ordered the Department of Justice to take action. And I think that we're going to see exactly the rule that might be proposed by the ATF and the DOJ on bump stocks.

But I don't think, you know, that some panacea makes the most sense. I think we need to look at first what policy we want to come forward with and then what is the right legislative approach, you know, at a federal and state level.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: Raj, the president has talked about arming teachers who are capable of handling firearms. There are 3.5 million teachers roughly in the United States. He said it would be about 20 percent. That's 700,000 teachers. How would the president propose arming 700,000 teachers?

SHAH: Well, I think what the president talked about was taking individuals -- personnel within schools -- some could be teachers, you could have other individuals who have training already in how to use firearms or could gain training -- and making sure that those individuals have access to concealed weapons that they could have on school grounds.

In those instances, the -- the presence of individuals would deter potential attackers.

QUESTION: But I guess if we are talking about 700,000 teachers or other school personnel -- maybe even more -- armed in schools -- how is that practical? How is that wise to have 700,000 firearms...

SHAH: I think -- I think when you have a horrific situation like you had last week and some other school shootings that we've seen -- these horrible tragedies -- what we think and don't think is practical can change.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: In order for something like that to be effective you'd have to get buy-in from many, many school boards across this country.

SHAH: Of course.

QUESTION: So far much of the reaction that we've seen to this idea has been negative.

Does the president expect that he can get enough buy-in in order to send a signal to potential shooters out there that, "This is a hardened facility; if you walk in the doors," as he said a little while ago, "you're not going to last"?

SHAH: He certainly thinks so.

Look, there are a lot of individuals -- leaders in Congress -- you know, the NRA has been supportive of this idea. A lot of other folks have been supportive of this idea.

The notion that, you know, trained individuals who work within schools that have firearms and can serve as a deterrent we think could keep a lot of schools and a lot of communities safe.

SHAH: Alex (ph)?

QUESTION: Two questions for you on both of these policies, to follow up on this conversation.

SHAH: Sure.

QUESTION: There are some districts, as you know, that don't have enough money to give teachers the school supplies that they need.

So how are schools supposed to pay for bonuses for armed teachers, as the president is suggesting?

SHAH: I think we're looking at school safety measures again. There's a policy piece to this and there's a legislative piece to this. I think those are...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) piece, right?

SHAH: Yeah, yeah, and there is a -- there's a budgetary piece to this.

I think that if we find the policy solutions that make the most sense that we can get by-in for, we'll figure out the rest of these other -- these other pieces that you outline.


QUESTION: (inaudible) wants to know is on the proposal that he talked about yesterday and today of raising the age limit to purchase...

SHAH: Right.

QUESTION: ... as he said today, any weapon, you have to be 21 to do it.

The NRA has come out as recently as last night and said they oppose that. The president said today, he doesn't expect to have to go up against the NRA. But this is clearly an incidence where the president holds one position, the NRA holds a different position.

SHAH: Right.

QUESTION: Is the president prepared to take on the NRA? What has he said to them? What assurances has he received from them since he said he doesn't expect a battle?

SHAH: Well, I -- the president did talk to Chris Cox over the weekend.

You know, in -- in dealing with school safety issues, we don't expect to agree with the NRA on every single issue, but we do think that they are concerned about school safety. As the president tweeted this morning, we think that they're interested in doing what's right.

It's going to be part of an ongoing conversation: their stakeholders along with you know, family members, students, parents, teachers who the president heard from yesterday, local officials who we talked to today. So he's going to get opinions from a lot of folks and he's going to come to, you know, the right steps that are necessary.

QUESTION: Could he change his mind on that?

SHAH: I'm not saying he's going to change his mind.

I think the point here is that he's going to take input from a lot of folks and come forward with proposals that we think can improve school safety.

Shannon (ph)? QUESTION: So, one solution that the students and family members have called for is a ban on semiautomatic rifles. Is that something that's on the table that the president's considering?

SHAH: Well, Sarah said the other day that no idea, no potential solution is off the table.

With that said when you look at what happened in Florida, you have an individual who dozens of times police either went to his home or were called. There was a call to the FBI. This was a troubled individual. He had been identified. There were a lot of, you know, alarms raised about this individual.

We don't think that the most -- the immediate policy response would be to ban an entire class of firearms. What we're looking for is solutions that -- that don't ban a class of firearms for all individuals, but ban all weapons for certain individuals who are identified as threats to public safety.

QUESTION: The president has said before -- he wrote in his book in 2000 that he was for the assault weapons ban. Is there something that's changed his thinking in that time or (inaudible)?

SHAH: Yes, there -- I mean, he campaigned for president and was opposed to the -- the assault weapons ban. And his position hasn't changed on that.

Jackie (ph)?

QUESTION: I want to ask you about the rule finalized by the Obama administration that President Trump reversed last February, which would have allowed the Social Security Administration to provide information to the gun background check system of people with mental disabilities.

On CBS News they asked the White House (inaudible) for a participant list of the bill signing, which you guys normally release along with a picture.

Is there a reason that you guys aren't releasing this picture, if the president, as he professed today, is proud to work so closely with the NRA? And if not, why not?

SHAH: Well, I don't know. You hadn't asked me about it. And if you have, I apologize if I haven't gotten back to you.

And I don't know if there's a photo. But I will get back to you.

On the rule that you're talking about, the Social Security Administration's regulation under the previous administration that blocked gun purchases was opposed by folks on both sides of the aisle, including the ACLU.

We need actual solutions that'll secure our schools and prevent future shootings. We don't think that taking away Second Amendment rights from people who essentially have trouble with their check books is the right solution.

QUESTION: And then I just want to follow up: You've been saying the president's doing a lot of listening. Did he watch the CNN town hall last night? And why didn't he attend in person and listen in person himself?

SHAH: I didn't ask him about that.

Julie (ph)?

QUESTION: Hi. How many White House officials are in danger of losing their security clearances under General Kelly's plan tomorrow?

SHAH: I can't get in to the specifics regarding individuals' security clearances or numbers or, you know, what you're asking me.

But, you know, I can say, you know, the memo did outline a series of reforms that -- you know, in the wake of the situation involving Rob Porter, that we can view to ensure that the security clearance process is tightened up. Interim clearances are tightened up.

That's actually -- some of these things the chief of staff had take action on months ago, but there are -- these are steps that are going to apply to all White House officials.

QUESTION: You can't give us any numbers, though, when it goes into effect tomorrow?

SHAH: No, I can't get into it (ph)...

QUESTION: How -- why not? (inaudible) why couldn't we at least evaluate the -- the public evaluate how -- how meaningful this change has been?

SHAH: I -- I -- again, the memo outlines in pretty specific detail how the security clearance is going to work moving forward, and how it's implemented on Friday. And beyond that I can't go further.


SHAH: Yes, Pamela (ph)?

QUESTION: You keep saying that, you know, you're in a phase of listening to people's ideas. But just specifically, how can you assure the American people that these ideas will turn into concrete -- concrete action?

SHAH: Well, I think the president already has -- I mean, you saw him for nearly an hour yesterday listen to individuals and take in quite a bit of input from -- you know, from people who are frustrated, who are struggling, who are angry. A lot of people, it was very raw, it was very emotional, it was very real.

I can tell you it's impacting him. I can tell you that he is listening. And again, the policies that he's beginning to talk about -- background checks for one, mental illness and specific measures that we can look at to improve the background check process by looking at mental illness is another. Again, the -- the -- the age -- the age 21 piece to this.

So there are a number of things that he is considering. And -- and talking to family members, talking to local officials, talking to many others, it is impacting some of his thinking.

QUESTION: Are you sure (ph) that action will be taken?

SHAH: Well, I mean, look, as I said -- as I told Major, right now we're in a listening phase. There is a policy process. Eventually there will be a legislative process.

QUESTION: And is he willing to go against the NRA ultimately? Because the NRA is standing firm that it does not support age limits for semi- automatic rifles. Is the president willing to stick with his...

SHAH: (inaudible) he's willing to do what's right to ensure safe -- to ensure we have safe schools.


QUESTION: So when the president talks about comprehensive background checks, can you tell me exactly what he means by that?

Does he mean that he thinks that every sale of firearms should come with a background check, meaning closing some of these loopholes, like the gun show loophole?

SHAH: Well, the things that he has talked about are specifically a focus on mental illness; to ensure that in -- in a number of states -- I mentioned red flag laws, there are other potential -- court orders can be brought into the process. And also ensuring that everybody who engages in a background check has all the information available that we're putting into the system...


SHAH: So, more accurate information, more current information, from more sources.

QUESTION: Well, (inaudible) for all sales, so you...

SHAH: Again, I wouldn't rule anything out. But right now, that's the -- that's the most immediate thing under consideration.

Julie (ph)?

QUESTION: On the age limit, or the age threshold for the purchase of a weapon, is he thinking about an across-the-board threshold for that, or for certain classes of weapons? How specific can you be about -- about...

SHAH: Well, for -- for right now -- for semi-automatic weapons.

QUESTION: Just for semi-automatic weapons?

SHAH: Correct.

QUESTION: And then, can you -- can you talk about what motivated him today to come out against active shooter drills in schools? A lot of districts around the country have been doing these drills to basically prepare students and teachers to survive if there's an incident like the one last week...


SHAH: I -- I actually talked -- I did to him about that.

I mean, he said the term, "active shooter drills," is particularly -- can be frightening for -- for young children. He thinks a drill that's -- you know, that has a different name and is -- and is not -- you know, the brand of it, frankly, doesn't frighten children might be a better way to approach it.

Malik (ph)?

QUESTION: Do the drills, but just don't call them "active shooter drills," is that what you're saying?

SHAH: Yeah. I think -- I think safety drills, which help in these types of situations, would be more appropriate. The term "active shooter drill" for a young child could be very frightening.

Philippe (ph)?

QUESTION: (inaudible) the president has announced his (inaudible) policy. It's about six months now. How does the president see it has moved along? And has it progressed on the lines that he wanted to? Or what are the bumps on the road?

SHAH: So, the United States is working closely with our partners in Afghanistan. We made significant progress against ISIS, reducing their presence, and eliminating hundreds of fighters. We've eliminated their top leaders and we're working relentlessly to target their leadership and bases wherever they emerge.

I know that we have restored some clarity in our relationship with Pakistan. For the first time, we're holding Pakistan accountable for its actions.

We've seen modest progress in terms of Pakistan's actual acknowledgement of these concerns. But the president is not satisfied with progress when it comes to Pakistan.

John (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks a lot, Raj.

Are there any proposals or initiatives the president is considering that he could implement by executive order as it relates to the mass shootings that we've seen across our country over the last few years?

SHAH: Well, he did sign a presidential memorandum earlier this week specifically on bump stocks, ordering the attorney general to expedite the ongoing review that's been happening at the Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms.

QUESTION: That's it?

SHAH: Yes.

QUESTION: And then as it relates to reaching out to members of Congress, has the president, since that horrific incident that happened last week, reached out to either of the leaders, Republican or Democrat, of the House and the Senate, to move some of these proposals forward in the House or the Senate?

SHAH: Well, he has ongoing conversations with a number of members of Congress on a whole host of issues, and this has been a part of that.

He did talk to Senator Cornyn on Friday specifically about his Fix NICS bill. And this has been a part of a lot of ongoing conversations.

Again there is a policy process that is ongoing. And when Congress get's back into session, I think there's going to be more engagement with both Democrats and Republicans on these issues.

David (ph)?

QUESTION: During that session, the president seemed to suggest he was thinking about pulling ICE out of California because of the sanctuary city collapse (ph). Is that a serious proposal he's thinking about (inaudible)?

SHAH: Well, we think California should actually enforce immigration law, rather than get in the way of it and ignore federal immigration law. We think that sanctuary cities are a threat to public safety and they encourage more illegal immigration.

So I think the president was raising that concern and making a very valid point.

QUESTION: Is he thinking about pulling federal law enforcement out of (inaudible)?

SHAH: Well, I wouldn't get ahead of anything the president might do.

But I would say that California's law enforcement decisions and decisions of the governor and others up and down -- you know, at the state level, have been very troubling.



I have a question about the president's reassurance he said he's going to give to Republican lawmakers. The NRA president said today that people that are trying to change gun control, that they hate the NRA, they hate the Second Amendment, they hate individual freedom.

If there are Republican lawmakers who then come and back the president if he -- if they have a different -- has a difference with the NRA, what assurances is he going to give them that he's going to have -- that's he's going to support them if the NRA chooses to run a primary challenger against them?

SHAH: Well, the president is going to propose, you know, more specifics with regard to school safety. He's going to want support from Democrats and Republicans. And yeah, he's going to provide political cover for those who are willing to take leadership roles.

I don't necessarily think that everything that he's going to be proposing is going to be at odds with the NRA or any group. But he is going to propose things. He is very serious about this issue. And he does want to have solutions.

Trish (ph)?

QUESTION: Thank you, Raj.

QUESTION: Following on several of my colleagues' questions about the issue of arming teachers in schools, I understand what you're saying about how this is something that we can get into more of the specifics later. But the president is saying that not just 20 percent, up to 40 percent of teachers could have these concealed carry permits in schools. And as John (ph) was noting, at that point that would be more than 700,000, that would be, you know, a million-plus at this point.

And President Trump said that they would only be going to highly adept teachers, but he used John Kelly or someone like John Kelly as an example today when he talked about it.

And so does the president really believe that there are up to 20 percent or 40 percent of teachers in schools who are as adept to someone like John Kelly at wielding a weapon?

SHAH: We -- we talked to teachers, we talked to folks in communities. I think there are a lot of people who if they are -- a lot of teachers who aren't currently trained would be willing to get trained.

Again, this is a very complex problem and we need serious solutions.

That -- that is a big step; I understand what you guys are saying. But I also think that if we really want school safety, a very serious idea is having trained individuals in schools with concealed weapons, because that will certainly deter potential attackers.


QUESTION: One question on the -- the background checks. The president used the word "comprehensive background checks." What does he specifically mean when he says the word "comprehensive"? Does that mean universal? And would he be willing to support universal background checks?

And just to clear that up, what I mean by that is background checks on all firearm sales.

SHAH: Right. And -- and as I said, nothing is being ruled out at this stage but the focus is on mental illness.


QUESTION: Thanks, Raj. One foreign policy for you and one on domestic policy.

SHAH: Sure.

QUESTION: First on Syria, we saw the statement from this administration last night that more civilians are dying east of Damascus. What more can President Trump do to stop the killing?

SHAH: Well, we are monitoring the situation, and don't want to get ahead of anything that may or may not be announced on that front. But you know the Assad regime and Russia's actions on this front are -- are on notice.

QUESTION: Does the president believe Bashar al-Assad is committing war crimes?

SHAH: I would say that Bashar al-Assad has already committed war crimes. He's already gassed his own people with sarin, he's already committed unthinkable acts. And he's done so with Russian support. And you know, we want -- we don't want that to continue.

QUESTION: And on guns, quickly, sorry, Raj...

SHAH: Yeah.

QUESTION: On school shootings generally speaking, does the president see this as a guns issue or a people issue?

SHAH: Well, I think it's about safety, it's about people and it is about ensuring that schools, our children are kept safe. I mean, he talked about that -- he talked about that a bit yesterday and a bit also as well today.

You know, you have a situation right now where in a lot of communities, banks -- local bank branches, stadiums where people go to watch a sporting event are a lot more secure and a lot safer than schools are. And that doesn't really seem to make a lot of sense.

You know, anybody who's -- who's feeling threatened or can afford it, whether it's a celebrity or politicians, they have armed guards, they have a security details, they have people who are able to protect them with firearms. And that's one of the issues that he's raising.


QUESTION: Raj? Raj, thank you. When you look at past school shootings that most Americans can recite at this point: Columbine, the shooters in that case used handguns and a sawed-off shotgun; Sandy Hook, the shooter used a handgun and a type of AR-15; Stoneman Douglas the other day, an AR-15.

When the president is talking about teachers being armed with guns in classrooms, is he talking about being armed with handguns? Is he talking about being armed with AR-15s? Is he talking about being armed potentially with shotguns? What exactly is he talking about?

SHAH: Well, I haven't asked him about that. I would say concealed weapons, you know, of are -- are of a certain variety.

QUESTION: And -- and then just to pick back up on -- on Hallie and John (ph) and that 700,000 number, if you give them -- give these people bonuses, say a thousand bucks, you're talking about $700 million, potentially. Maybe it's north of a billion, maybe it's less than that; in any event it's a lot of money.

Would the federal government pay for something like this? Do you expect the state and local municipalities to pay for this?

SHAH: The policy hasn't been fleshed out. But, I mean, do we really think that that's too much to pay for school safety?

Charlie (ph)?

QUESTION: You mentioned that the president spoke with the NRA's Chris Cox over the weekend. Did he specifically discuss this idea of raising the legal age to purchase a rifle to 21 or did -- was this subject not discussed?

SHAH: I'll have to get back to you on that.


SHAH: Yes, John (ph)?

QUESTION: Very quick second question if I could, (inaudible) and -- and -- and it's OK, it's all right (ph), I only had one; everybody else had two.

Adam Schiff says that he'd like to get his Democratic memo out this week. He sent it to the FBI for redactions. If it comes back to the White House with the appropriate redactions, will you expedite its release?

SHAH: So, I know that the House Intelligence Committee, the minority has been in touch with the FBI and they've been going back and forth about -- about that. Yes, once it meets the FBI's standards for ensuring that law enforcement-sensitive and sources and methods are protected, we would support its -- its release.


SHAH: John (ph)? QUESTION: Yes, just -- just another subject, last week the president's personal lawyer acknowledged giving a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. Is the president aware that his lawyer paid that kind of money to a porn star to buy her silence? Does he approve of that?

SHAH: I haven't asked him about it. But that matter has been asked and answered in the past.

QUESTION: No, (inaudible) no it has not, not since he -- he -- he acknowledged this. He acknowledged this last week. This is the first time we've had a chance to ask about it.

So can you go back and we find out if the president approves of the fact that (inaudible)...

SHAH: Again, I -- I haven't -- I haven't asked him about that.

QUESTION: ... that his personal -- will you -- will you ask him about that?

SHAH: I -- I haven't asked him about it yet.

QUESTION: But will you ask him about it, Raj?

SHAH: I'll get back to you.

Ken (ph)?

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Raj, police in Israel said last week that they have sufficient evidence to charge Prime Minister Netanyahu with bribery and (inaudible) charges.

Does the president believe that the prime minister is innocent? And does he have any concern that this legal issue could affect the peace process?

SHAH: Well, that's an internal Israeli matter and I'm not going to comment on that.

Thanks a lot, guys.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: OK. There he went. Raj Shah there, briefing the press. The headline really on guns, which dominated the briefing. Raj Shah saying, "We don't think the most immediate policy response would be to ban an entire class of firearms."

What is specific in where the president differs with the NRA is on this age to purchase weapons. The president has said he is in favor of raising the age. Which, by the way, since the president said that again today at the White House, the NRA has released a statement rejecting ideas to limit the ages for purchasing rifles. If you are just following along with what the right hand and the left hand are saying.

I have Jamie, Chris and Dana are with me.

Dana, to you first.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: First of all the fact that he said very explicitly that the president does plan to give Republicans political cover from the NRA if and when it comes down to that. He also said he didn't think it would be necessary because some of the things that the president is talking about don't necessarily fly in the face of what the NRA wants. But even something, frankly acres lot of people who are for what they call common sense gun control think is a baby step, raising the age limit from 18 to 21 for assault-style weapons, we know that's something that the NRA doesn't support. So they're leaning in. They continue to lean in. Which, for this White House, as Chris was talking about before the briefing started, where you had a president, a Tuesday Trump and a Thursday Trump on immigration, the Tuesday, Wednesday Trump is still that same Trump on this Thursday. And that's saying something.

We have to kind of deal with the context that we're in right now. And that is what we're in right now, not really being sure, given the history of the way that this president has gone back and forth on a lot of different issues, particularly when they are very, very controversial and they are very controversial with his own base. Unclear how he's going to go.

At least for now, it seems as though he's pushing ahead. The big unanswered question that he did not answer and, to be fair, it is very early to answer this question is, what is the specific? What are we talking about? What is he going to propose? Never mind how much is he going to push to get it over the finish line.

[14:56:03] BALDWIN: Jamie and I were listening, and we were talking through the briefing, we were having this conversation. I want to reiterate it now just on this whole notion of the Nixon-goes-to-China opportunity for the president with Republicans on guns.



GANGEL: A lot of people would hope that that's the case. But at best, maybe -- maybe, maybe, maybe incremental. Just as Dana was saying, the NRA is not sitting back quietly. They came out today full force, repeating their position. They are not in favor of these things. And while the president will say, I'm considering this -- the rest, he also said today, "I don't think I'll be going up against them, the NRA. They're very close to me. I'm close to them." So, he is saying one thing, but will we get to the finish line? Will we even get close to the finish line? I think it's very much to be seen.

BALDWIN: The other question, Chris Cillizza, they kept asking Raj about this notion of arming teachers, especially to the level of a General John Kelly. That was an excellent question there. How is that even feasible, that the money required in not only training them, giving them bonuses, as the president said, but continuing that training if they want to be armed, concealed carry. CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER & CNN EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes.

So, Raj's answer was, well, we'll find the money if it's going to keep kids safe.


CILLIZZA: Which is an OK answer. But I would say -- and we'll hear much more about this. I think it's a debate certainly whether it would keep kids safer. So that's one thing.

I think my big takeaway, number one -- and I don't think this was going to happen but no push for an assault weapons ban, which was obviously let to expire by George W. Bush. You heard Marco Rubio get loudly booed last night or cheered for the idea that he rejected an assault weapons ban. That's in the going to happen.

The other takeaway -- Dana touched on. I'm interested to see is there a proposal legislatively -- let's assume something happens. Does it come from the White House? Does Donald Trump say, I want this, this, and this, like the four pillars of immigration, or is this something where he says work it out with Congress?

I'll tell you who we haven't heard a lot from. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.


CILLIZZA: The two leaders on the Republican side. There's been no promise to put this at the top of the legislative agenda. They haven't said much of anything in terms of what this means for policy. So, what Donald Trump chooses to do and how he chooses to do it makes a massive difference.

BALDWIN: I want to thank all of you very much.

We'll want to continue our conversation and roll the show on.

You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thank you so much for being with me here.

We are one week officially, and one day, after 17 students and staff were killed at that Florida high school. You have a Republican president, who is signaling it is time to change some of the nation's gun laws. Today, President Trump met with school and civic and law enforcement leaders to hear their input on how to stop school shooters.

And before hearing their thoughts on what should change, the president himself laid out his ideas in this tweet. He talks about strengthening background checks, raising the age for some gun sales, ending the sale of bump stocks and, in today's meeting, he spoke about the need for mental health reform.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Part of the problem is we used to have mental institutions. And I said this yesterday. We had a mental institution where you take a sicko, like this guy. He was a sick guy. So many signs. And you bring him to a mental health institution. Those institutions are largely closed because communities didn't want them. Communities didn't want to spend the money for them. So you don't have any intermediate ground. You can't put them in jail because they haven't done anything yet, but you know he's going to do something.