Americans across party and demographic lines overwhelmingly support expanded background checks for gun buyers and allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals, a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.
Though the poll finds a continued partisan divide on more far-reaching gun control, public opinion is firmly behind the Democrats’ push for action. More Americans say they trust congressional Democrats over President Trump to handle gun laws, 51 percent to 36 percent, with independents siding with Democrats by a 17-point margin — a divide that could have political ramifications in the 2020 elections.
Democrats and allied activists had been trying to kick-start a push for new federal gun restrictions since the mass shootings last month in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio; the deadly rampage in West Texas Aug. 31 reignited the issue.
The poll finds 86 percent of Americans support ‘‘red-flag’’ provisions allowing guns to be taken from people judged to be a danger to themselves or others; 89 percent support expanding federal background checks to cover private sales and gun-show transactions.
Both ideas are supported by at least 8 in 10 Republicans, white evangelical Christians, members of gun-owning households, and other traditionally conservative groups.
More far-reaching restrictions also have majority support, by more modest margins. Six in 10 back a federal ban on gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
A 56 percent majority supports a new federal ban on sales of military-style assault weapons, and nearly all who support such a ban also back a mandatory federal buyback program for those weapons — a notion decried as ‘‘confiscation’’ by gun-rights supporters.
Trump has wavered on the issues, endorsing tough measures after a mass shooting at a Florida high school in 2018 and then abandoning expanded background checks and other proposals as the National Rifle Association expressed opposition. Late last month, Trump told NRA chief Wayne LaPierre that universal background checks were off the table.
Trump said last week that he expected to present a ‘‘package’’ of proposals, but suggested they’d target the mentally ill. — WASHINGTON POST
Partisan divisions over immigration widen
Republican concern about immigration has risen sharply, rivaling international terrorism as the top security threat for the first time in more than two decades, a Chicago Council on Global Affairs poll shows.
The June survey found that 78 percent of Republicans say large numbers of immigrants and refugees represent a ‘‘critical threat.’’ That’s a rise of 12 percentage points since last year; 76 percent of Republicans describe international terrorism as a high-level threat.
Among Democrats, just 19 percent say the same, ranking it last among 14 concerns, including climate change, cyberattacks, and foreign interference in American elections.
The findings come after a year in which arrests of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border spiked dramatically, and as Democrats fought President Trump’s border wall plan.
Overall, 43 percent of the respondents say immigrants and refugees are a critical threat — up four percentage points from last year.
The findings show the degree to which Republicans share Trump’s views and support his aggressive policies to combat illegal border crossings. But on other foreign policy issues, Republicans’ views are closer to those of the general public. More than two-thirds of both Democrats and Republicans say it’s best if the United States plays an active role in world affairs, encompassing trade, humanitarian aid, promoting democracy, and defending allies. — WASHINGTON POST
Trump insults Teigen and Legend, and they fire back
President Trump called model Chrissy Teigen “filthy mouthed” and musician John Legend “boring” in tweets Sunday that trumpeted the president’s achievements in criminal justice reform.
Legend called on the first lady to intervene, and Teigen used vulgarities. The couple, who are married, are both frequent critics of the president.
By Monday morning, the expletives Teigen used, including one Trump famously used in a recording that surfaced before his 2016 election, were part of a trending hashtag on Twitter. The related #filthymouthedwife was also trending.
In tweets, Trump appeared to be responding to Legend’s appearance at a criminal justice town hall hosted by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt at the Sing Sing prison in Ossining, N.Y. He began by pointing to criminal justice legislation he signed last year.
“Now that it is passed, people that had virtually nothing to do with it are taking the praise,” Trump wrote. “Guys like boring musician @johnlegend, and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is — but I didn’t see them around when we needed help getting it passed.”
He did not name Teigen, which she noted: “Tagged everyone but me. An honor, mister president.” She added that she had not been mentioned in the MSNBC special that Trump appeared to have watched.
Legend called on the first lady: “Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody — ANYBODY — will praise you. Melania, please praise this man. He needs you.” — NEW YORK TIMES
Democrats probe Trump ties to Ukraine to aid reelection
House Democrats launched an investigation into whether President Trump and his attorney Rudolph Giuliani sought to manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping Trump’s reelection campaign.
Top Democrats demanded records related to what they say are Trump and Giuliani’s efforts ‘‘to coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing two politically-motivated investigations under the guise of anti-corruption activity’’ — one to help Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is in prison for illegal lobbying and financial fraud, and a second to target former vice president Joe Biden, who is seeking to unseat Trump.
‘‘As the 2020 election draws closer, President Trump and his personal attorney appear to have increased pressure on the Ukrainian government and its justice system in service of President Trump’s reelection campaign, and the White House and the State Department may be abetting this scheme,’’ the chairmen of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees wrote, citing media reports that Trump had threatened to withhold $250 million in aid to help Ukraine in its ongoing struggle against Russian-backed separatists.
Neither the White House, State Department, nor Giuliani immediately commented. — WASHINGTON POST