During a joint press briefing President Trump was holding in Seoul with South Korean President Moon on Tuesday, one reporter chose to ask him about an issue back at home in the United States – gun control, in relation to the mass shooting that occurred at a Texas church on Sunday.
Direct from the transcript of the briefing released by the White House, the following question was asked by NBC reporter Ali Vitali:
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve talked about wanting to put extreme vetting on people trying to come into the United States, but I wonder if you would consider extreme vetting for people trying to buy a gun.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Trying to what?
Q Buy a gun.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, you’re bringing up a situation that probably shouldn’t be discussed too much right now. We could let a little time go by, but it’s okay. If you feel that that’s an appropriate question, even though we’re in the heart of South Korea, I will certainly answer your 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. And 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. Not going to help.
Q And are you considering any kind of gun control policy going forward because —
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I mean, you look at the city with the strongest gun laws in our nation, is Chicago, and Chicago is a disaster. It’s a total disaster. Just remember, if this man didn’t have a gun or rifle, you’d be talking about a much worse situation in the great state of Texas. Thank you.
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Since the press conference, leftist media in the U.S. has been highly critical of President Trump’s response, slamming him for suggesting that South Korea wasn’t exactly the place to talk about gun control in the U.S.
A reporter for the Chicago Tribune has further lambasted the president, writing an opinion editorial Tuesday titled, “On gun control, Mr. President, keep our city’s name our of your mouth.”
The author, Rex Huppke, declared that President Trump’s statement about Chicago having the “strongest gun laws in our nation” is a “flat-out lie” and he blasted Trump for “using the tragic – and yes, disastrous – number of homicides in Chicago as a cudgel to knock down any talk of sensible gun-law reform.”
Huppke alleged that “Trump belted out lever line in the NRA playbook,” and accused him of insulting their city.
Watch the reporter’s question and President Trump’s reply below: