President Donald Trump speaking to the National Rifle Association, a group that made a multimillion investment in his campaign, declared his administration will not ratify the UN Arms Trade Treaty — a treaty supported by the Obama administration that is aimed at regulating the international arms industry.
“The United Nations will soon receive a formal notice that America is rejecting this treaty,” Trump said in a speech at the NRA convention in Indianapolis. The treaty was not supported by the NRA.
“We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment,” Trump said to applause and acknowledged the “happy faces from the NRA over there.”
Trump signed a document before the crowd, which he said was a “message asking the Senate to discontinue the treaty ratification process and return the now-rejected treaty right back to me in the Oval Office, where I will dispose of it.” The move, however, is mostly symbolic. The Obama administration submitted the treaty to the Senate, but it was never ratified after facing opposition. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not signaled how lawmakers will move forward with the president’s request.
Immediately, gun control advocates spoke out against the president’s decision to back away from the treaty, which seeks to make it more difficult to sell weapons to countries that are under arms embargoes, often because of conflict.
“The Arms Trade Treaty is designed to keep guns out of war-stricken countries and prevent dangerous situations from descending even further into chaos. It is a treaty supported by our allies, but in opposing it, the president instead chose to stand with countries such as North Korea and Syria,” said Kris Brown, the president of Brady, an organization aimed at preventing gun violence.
As he took the stage, it appeared that a phone was thrown at but did not strike the president. ABC News has reached out to the Secret Service.
During his speech, Trump jumped from defending Second Amendment rights to building a wall to touting economic numbers.
The president argued that while Democrats advocate for undocumented immigrants, they want to “disarm law-abiding citizens.”
“Democrats want to disarm law-abiding Americans while allowing criminal aliens to operate with impunity. But that will never happen as long as I’m your president. Not even close,” the president said.
Trump also claimed he had successfully fought back against the corruption “at the highest levels” in Washington in his speech at the NRA’s annual convention in Indiana, held one week after special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report was released to the public.
“All was taking place at the highest levels in Washington, D.C. You’ve been watching, you’ve been seeing. You’ve been looking at things that you wouldn’t have believed possible in our country. Corruption at the highest level a disgrace. Spying, surveillance. Trying for an overthrow. And we caught them. We caught them,” he said.
Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence took a swipe at newly announced Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday saying that the nation is not in a battle for the “soul of America.”