WASHINGTON -- President Obama's national security team briefed him Monday on the latest in the Orlando investigation. Then he talked to reporters in the Oval Office, where he blamed a toxic mix of extremism and easy gun access for the attack.
"Out of 300 million people, there are going to be some individuals who find for whatever reason that kind of horrible propaganda enticing, and if that happens and that person can get a weapon, that's a problem," Obama said.
Now with just 220 days left in office, aides say he is intensely frustrated that he is unable to stop either, despite more than 14 public appeals to Congress.
His emotional plea for stronger gun control in the wake of Newtown failed to persuade Republicans. So too did his Oval Office address after San Bernardino, when he requested a ban on selling assault rifles to people on the terror watch list.
Mr. Obama has consistently blamed the NRA for holding Congress hostage. On Monday, the president said the nation needs some soul-searching.
"We are also going to have to make sure that we think about the risks we are willing to take by being so lax in how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country."
White House aides acknowledge that after two dozen executive actions and an appeal to simply ban gun sales to those on terror watch list, the president has exhausted nearly all options.