Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.
President Trump spoke to the National Rifle Association’s annual leadership forum on Friday, the first sitting president since Ronald Reagan to do so.
“We have news that you’ve been waiting for … a long time,” Trump told the crowd in Atlanta. “The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.”
Much of his speech echoed the rhetoric he used on the campaign, and has continued at rallies during his first 100 days in office.
Trump reiterated his desire to build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border, despite backing off of demands that funding for the project be included in the spending bill that Congress is working on.
“You need that wall to stop the human trafficking, to stop the drugs, to stop the wrong people, you need the wall,” Trump said. “We’ll build the wall. Don’t even think about it, don’t even think about it, don’t even think about it. That’s an easy one. We’re going to build the wall. We need the wall.”
He also took familiar jabs at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. After talking about his victory in the electoral college in November, Trump said many candidates will be swarming the NRA looking for support next election cycle.
“But you’re not going to be wasting your time. You’ll have plenty of those Democrats coming over, and you’ll say, ‘No sir, no thank you,’ ” Trump said. “Perhaps ‘Ma’am.’ It may be Pocahontas, remember that. And she is not big for the NRA, let me tell you.”
Trump has repeatedly called Warren “Pocahontas” because of a controversy over her claiming Native American heritage in professional directories.
“Get out and vote”
Trump did encourage NRA support for Georgia Sixth District candidate Karen Handel. Trump is also scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for the Republican while he’s in the state. Handel is running in what has become a closely watched June runoff against Democrat Jon Ossoff. The seat was vacated by Rep. Tom Price when Trump selected Price as his secretary of Health and Human Services.
Trump opened his speech Friday by congratulating Handel for making it to the runoff. “She’s totally for the NRA, and she’s totally for the Second Amendment, so get out and vote,” he said.
The NRA hoped to hear a clear message from the president, NPR spokesperson Jason Brown said before…