August 14, 2019

Claire McCaskill is skeptical that #MoscowMitch will allow background checks to pass, and explains why to Politico reporter Jake Sherman.

"I saw, Jake, that he's not serious about doing this was that he let (John) Barasso get out in front, 'We're not doing this, the red flag law is flawed.' He never would have done that without asking permission of Mitch McConnell ahead of time, so I'm not sure where the votes come that we didn't have on Manchin-Toomey the last time. I don't know where those come from," she said.

"I would only say that McConnell also could let some of his right flank people like Barasso come out against it for momentary political cover or because he believes at the end of the day, if anything happens, it's going to be carried by a narrow slice of Republicans and Democrats and again, the votes are tough to come by, and Thune came out and was skeptical about it, too," Sherman said.

"The shift in politics, behind the scenes and off the record, as you know, Claire not-senator McCaskill, is Republicans see the politics is changing. They won't say it publicly yet, but they believe privately the politics have changed. Maybe not on an assault weapons ban, especially in the Senate and some people in the House expert testimony remaining suburban districts held by House Republicans, they do believe the politics is changing, and someone like Kevin McCarthy, interesting to see where he goes. Again, if Donald Trump gives political cover on this, it could go a long way. But you're right, Mitch McConnell does hold the cards at the end of the day."

"I hope I'm wrong and I want to be optimistic here. I would love to take a baby step, but Mitch McConnell also knows that one of the biggest washing machines for big money in terms of Citizens United, dark money that he needs to win the Senate races, one of the biggest washing machines is the NRA, and I question whether they will go there, that they will actually stand up to the NRA and say we're getting out of bed. We're not going to be in your bed completely and totally anymore. I hope I'm wrong, but they're so owned by the NRA, it just will be astounding to me if he allows that many Republicans to give the NRA the back of their hand.

"How can everybody watching understand that? You said it once, that Mitch McConnell is the most powerful person in Washington, and that's probably true. But you also said that he won't stand up to a group of lobbyists on something when we're talking about universal background checks, just take that, which a majority of gun owners, which a majority of NRA members support, universal background checks for private sellers as well. Why can't he take that step, and say, even if he's winking to the NRA and say hey, guys, let me give him this one, we won't give them anything else," Willie Geist said.

"Because they need committees that will take big checks that will never be identified. you know, the $10 million checks, the $20 million checks. I mean, remember, Russia wrote the NRA a $30 million check to help win Senate elections for Mitch McConnell and to help Donald Trump, so if you can get that kind of laundered money through the NRA because of Citizens United, it is to Mitch's advantage to keep as many of those entities out there on friendly terms as possible," McCaskill said.

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