On Wednesday, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse (NE) issued a sharp rebuke of President Trump in response to his comments about gun control and due process. “We’re not ditching any Constitutional protections simply because the last person the President talked to today doesn’t like them,” said Sasse.
In a meeting with Congressional Democrats and Republicans on Wednesday, Trump said he wants to figure out a way to get guns out of the hands of mentally ill people, like the Parkland shooter, and suggested he was willing to deny due process rights to do so.
“I don’t want mentally ill people to be having guns,” said Trump. “You have to do something very decisive. Number one, you can take the guns away immediately from people that you can adjudge easily are mentally ill, like [the Parkland shooter]. You know, the police saw that he was a problem, they didn’t take any guns away. Now, that could have been policing. I think they should have taken them away anyway, whether they had the right or not. But I’ll tell you this, you have to have very strong provisions for the mentally ill.”
Trump doubled down on his comments on violating due process in a follow-up comment. “I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida,” he said, adding, “To go to court would have taken a long time. So you could do exactly what you’re saying, but take the guns first, go through due process second.”
In response, Sasse issued a stern rebuke of Trump and defense of the Second Amendment and due process.
“Strong leaders don’t automatically agree with the last thing that was said to them,” said Sasse in a statement Wednesday. “We have the Second Amendment and due process of law for a reason. We’re not ditching any Constitutional protections simply because the last person the President talked to today doesn’t like them.”
In another moment in the meeting that caused alarm among conservatives, President Trump seemed to signal some level of support to an assault rifle ban being proposed by the Democrats (video via ABC News):
So far Trump has not responded to criticism leveled at him by Sasse and other conservatives over his gun control comments. Trump’s only tweet at this point concerning the bipartisan meeting is to say it was an honor to meet together to try to “turn our grief into action”: