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Trump uses NRA speech to thank Kanye for doubling black poll numbers, praise gun rights organization

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President Donald Trump sang the praises of rapper Kanye West during a speech at the National Rifle Association's annual convention on Friday and said that the gun organization "loves this country."

What happened?

Speaking at the NRA's annual convention in Dallas, Trump celebrated West, who has been outspoken in his appreciation for the president.

"I doubled my African-American poll numbers in one week," Trump told the sold-out crowd. "We went from 11 percent to 22 percent. Thank you, Kanye."

“When I saw the number I said there must be a mistake. How can that happen? Even the pollsters thought there must be a mistake," Trump said. "Now we’ve come a long way. You remember I come to big rooms, big audiences, and I would say, 'What do you have to lose?' Because the Democrats have always had their vote. What do you have to lose? Horrible in crime, horrible in education, horrible on everything. What do you have to lose? They voted for me and we won. But now the numbers are much higher than they ever were with African-Americans and we’re happy.”

"Kanye West must have some power," the president added.

What did Trump say about gun rights?

The president went on to vow to continue protecting Americans' Second Amendment rights.

“Your Second Amendment rights are under siege, but they will never ever be under siege as long as I am your president,” Trump said. He also insisted that gun-rights voters must vote in the midterm elections and avoid complacency.

“We cannot get complacent. We have to win the midterms,” he adamantly said. “The one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights is conservatives in Congress willing to fight for those rights.”

During a pre-appearance interview from Air Force One, Trump also told the crowd that the NRA has nothing but love for the U.S., calling the gun group a "truly great organization that loves this country."

Anything else?

In 2017, Trump became the first president in about 30 years to appear at an NRA convention. This is his second consecutive year appearing at the convention.

Vice President Mike Pence also made an appearance at this year's convention.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders shot down media criticisms after Trump announced this week that he would be attending.

"We also support the Second Amendment, and strongly support it, and don’t see there to be a problem with speaking at the National Rifle Association’s meeting," she said during a news conference.

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