Members of the media and various Democrats lashed out at President Donald Trump on Sunday after the New York Times reported on a disturbing video played during a political conference at the Trump National Doral Miami last week.
According to the Times, the video shows a "fake President Trump shooting, stabbing and brutally assaulting members of the news media and his political opponents."
The video, which includes the logo for Mr. Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, comprises a series of internet memes. The most violent clip shows Mr. Trump's head superimposed on the body of a man opening fire inside the "Church of Fake News" on parishioners who have the faces of his critics or the logos of media organizations superimposed on their bodies. It appears to be an edited scene of a church massacre from the 2014 dark comedy film "Kingsman: The Secret Service."
Among those targeted in the clip were former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), John McCain, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), CNN, NBC, HuffPost, Vox, Politico, the Washington Post, comedian Kathy Griffin, Rosie O'Donnell, and even the Black Lives Matter movement.
The video was played during a three-day political conference hosted by American Prosperity as part of a "meme exhibit."
What was the reaction?
Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondent's Association, called on the president to denounce the video, charging that this rhetoric "could incite violence."
The video reportedly played this weekend at a conference organized by the President’s supporters at Trump National… https://t.co/UI2cGplxm8— Jonathan Karl (@Jonathan Karl)1571023679.0
CNN said the video is not the first time that Trump's supporters have "promoted violence against the media."
CNN statement on video shown at @realDonaldTrump supporter conference at Trump's Miami resort last week: https://t.co/BVKI5N5a17— CNN Communications (@CNN Communications)1571020606.0
Beto O'Rourke claimed the video "will get people killed."
At a conference of Trump supporters, they played a video of our president murdering journalists in a church. Last y… https://t.co/YGNHaG8qfO— Beto O'Rourke (@Beto O'Rourke)1571021686.0
CNN's Brian Stelter declared that Trump is responsible for a "climate that is so hateful, so hostile toward journalists" and would therefore be responsible if violence against the media occurs.
Call someone an "enemy" over and over again, and you have some responsibility for what happens to them. Trump is r… https://t.co/USBCFsYGHR— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter)1571027410.0
Olivia Nuzzi, a correspondent for New York magazine, said she was said for those "who have been and will be hurt" by people who think this is just a joke.
Kathy Griffin — who ignited controversy for holding a replica of Trump's bloody and severed head for a photoshoot in 2017 — said the video is not a joke to Trump's supporters.
Im depicted as being murdered by The President of the United States in this video.The left, right & center left me… https://t.co/iTPhq4NHi6— Kathy Griffin (@Kathy Griffin)1571021702.0
What did Trump say?
White House press secretary Stephanie Gresham said Monday morning that the president has yet to see the video but that he already condemns it from what he has heard about it.
Re: the video played over the weekend: The @POTUS @realDonaldTrump has not yet seen the video, he will see it short… https://t.co/xFTcXc4vYb— Stephanie Grisham (@Stephanie Grisham)1571055978.0
Similarly, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the Times, "That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence."