New National Rifle Association President Carolyn Meadows said Rep. Lucy McBath was elected not because of her support of stricter gun laws, but because she is “a minority female,” according to the Marietta Daily Journal.
Meadows, who was recently elected NRA president after Oliver North was pushed out, told the Marietta Daily Journal, “We’ll get that seat back,” speaking of the congressional seat that McBath — a Georgia Democrat and a freshman lawmaker whose 17-year-old son was fatally shot in 2012 — won last year.
“There will be more than one person in the race, but we’ll get that seat back,” Meadows told the paper, according to the story published on Sunday. “But it is wrong to say like McBath said, that the reason she won was because of her anti-gun stance. That didn’t have anything to do with it — it had to do with being a minority female.”
She continued: “And the Democrats really turned out, and that’s the problem we have with conservatives — we don’t turn out as well.”
CNN has reached out to the NRA and McBath’s office for comment.
McBath, a former flight attendant and gun control activist, defeated former Republican Rep. Karen Handel in November in a district that hadn’t elected a Democratic US representative since the 1970s. Her 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was shot and killed in 2012 after an argument that began with a loud music complaint. The shooter was later convicted of first-degree murder.
On Monday, McBath responded to Meadows’ comments in a series of tweets.
“Hi NRA! It’s time we clear something up. I won this race because – after my son was senselessly murdered in 2012 – I stood up to do something about it. I knew it was time to fight back,” she wrote.
In another tweet, McBath said that her work on gun violence, among other issues, “is just starting,” adding, “And yes – as a woman of color I am proud to be part of the most diverse class in American history. My experiences drive the work I am doing for my constituents. And nobody can take that away from me.”
Meadows told the Marietta Daily Journal that the gun lobby is going to work to re-elect Republican President Donald Trump, as well as expand the group.
“We’re going to work to get Donald Trump reelected, unity, and that’s primarily it, to be politically active, to bring gun-toters into the fold, to get more gun-toters to join NRA,” she said. “It’s a powerful lobby, not just for gun rights, but for rights.”
In April, a dispute between then-NRA president North and Wayne LaPierre, longtime NRA CEO and executive vice president, spilled into public view and resulted in North’s ouster. LaPierre was reelected as CEO and Meadows, a longtime NRA board member, was elected president.
North has accused LaPierre of financial misconduct, according to the Wall Street Journal. After the internal dispute, the New York attorney general’s office announced it had launched an investigation into the NRA.
President Donald Trump on Monday accused the New York attorney general’s office of illegally investigating the National Rifle Association and called on the group, which has been roiled by a leadership fight, to “get its act together quickly.”
“The NRA is under siege by (New York Gov. Andrew) Cuomo and the New York State A.G., who are illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy this very important organization, & others,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “It must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS – FAST!”
On Saturday, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announced in a statement it had launched an investigation into the NRA and had issued subpoenas to the organization, but did not confirm what the probe was in regard to.
The investigation comes after a dispute between the group’s president, Oliver North, and chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, in which North accused LaPierre of financial misconduct, including the improper use of $200,000 of NRA funds to purchase clothing from an NRA vendor, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It also comes nearly a year after James, during her campaign last summer, said she would investigate the NRA if elected to make sure it is complying with non-profit rules. Her campaign threat helped prompt the group to begin an internal review of its finances, which is part of what triggered the tensions between North and LaPierre.
The Journal said New York investigators plan to look into alleged financial misconduct like the kind North recently raised in internal disputes. An attorney representing the group has said the organization will cooperate with inquiries into its finances.
On Friday, James’ office sent the NRA a document preservation order, according to the Journal. NPR was the first to report on the New York attorney general investigation.
Later Monday, Cuomo, a Democrat, dismissed Trump’s claim about the probe’s legality in a statement, saying, “Unlike you, President Trump, New York is not afraid to stand up to the NRA.”
“I will continue to fight for the children of this state,” he said, noting that “gun violence is a national crisis plaguing our country and killing our children.”
And James’ office vowed Monday to “follow the facts wherever they may lead.
“We wish the President would share our respect for the law,” the office said in a statement.
Trump’s call for unity could have an impact on an NRA board meeting planned for Monday, which comes on the heels of a letter LaPierre sent the board saying North was pressuring him to resign, according to the Journal. On Saturday, North announced he will not be renominated as president of the group.