President Donald Trump applauds the audience after speaking at the National Rifle Association annual convention in Dallas, Friday, May 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Trump's complex relationship with guns
02:37 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that many Republicans support his push for strengthening background checks on gun salesa view that appears at odds with what lawmakers are telling the President in private even as he presses for action.

It’s a sign of a possible divide between Trump and his party as long as the President maintains his position that background checks are a necessary response to two mass shootings earlier this month.

He upheld that view in conversations with advisers over the weekend as he began a weeklong working vacation in New Jersey, according to people familiar with the matter. Trump has said he believes he needs to take a concrete step on gun control, rather than symbolic. He’s been encouraged by some aides, including daughter Ivanka, to press on background checks.

But others – including those with more experience dealing with Washington Republicans – have appeared skeptical. There isn’t evidence yet that Trump is wielding an aggressive arm-twisting campaign for a specific piece of legislation as the Senate continues its extended vacation. And an ever-nearing reelection campaign, when support from a gun-loving base will be essential, is likely to weigh on Trump’s thinking.