After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad few days, the National Rifle Association on Monday emerged with one long-time anchor intact: Wayne LaPierre.
LaPierre, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the organization since 1991, will retain his role after a vote by the NRA’s 76-member board of directors during a closed-door meeting in Indianapolis.
The vote brings a measure of stability back to an organization that in recent weeks has sued its longtime public relations firm, been subject to damaging news reports, seen its president resign and even acknowledged that the attorney general of New York is investigating its status as a non-profit organization.
La Pierre last week said NRA President Oliver North was trying to push him from the gun rights organization by threatening to release “damaging” information about him to the NRA’s board.
North had pushed for a review of NRA finances in the wake of a news report in the New Yorker questioning spending by the organization’s leadership, as well as NRA executives’ close relationship with Ackerman McQueen, an Oklahoma-based public relations firm.
North, the retired Marine Corps officer best known for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal, announced his resignation Saturday at the NRA’s annual meeting. He left a position last year with Fox News to take the NRA job.
Replacing North will be Carolyn Meadows, the organization’s second vice-president, who has also previously served as president on an interim basis. Meadows is a longtime Republican political operative from Georgia.
President Donald Trump alluded to the swirling controversies in a tweet Monday morning, three days after giving a raucous, campaign-style speech at the convention in Indianapolis.
The NRA “must get its act together quickly, stop the internal fighting, & get back to GREATNESS - FAST,” the president wrote. Trump also accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James of “illegally using the State’s legal apparatus to take down and destroy” the NRA.
James’ office on Friday sent letters to the NRA instructing the organization to preserve financial documents, the New York Times reported.
James had previously promised to investigate the NRA’s status as a tax-exempt organization.
KERA is part of Guns & America, a national reporting collaborative of 10 public media newsrooms focusing attention on the role of guns in American life. You can find more Guns & America coverage here, and learn more about the collaboration here.