The bipartisan deal brokered this week to expand the national gun background check system likely couldn't have happened without the work of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.), a moderate Democrat who from the start was eager to find a way to curb gun violence that also protected Second Amendment rights.

Manchin, who is the subject of a front-page Washington Post profile in Wednesday's editions, spoke with Ed O'Keefe and David A. Fahrenthold in his Washington office Tuesday afternoon, just hours after he announced the deal with Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.)

A transcript of the interview appears below, with slight edits for length and clarity: