Donald Trump is facing calls to condemn a parody video shown at a conference of his supporters that featured him massacring members of the media and his political rivals.
The New York Times first reported the video — played at a conference at the Trump National Doral resort featuring Donald Trump Jr. and Sarah Huckabee Sanders — that shows Trump violently murdering an array of his perceived foes in a church, from John McCain to Mika Brzezinski to CNN to Black Lives Matter to George Soros. The parody uses a famous scene from 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service.
ABC News reporter and White House Correspondents Association president Jonathan Karl called the video “vile and dangerous” and issued a statement on behalf of the group:
The WHCA is horrified by a video reportedly shown over the weekend at a political conference organized by the President’s supporters at the Trump National Doral in Miami. All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents. We have previously told the President his rhetoric could incite violence. Now we call on him and everybody associated with this conference to denounce this video and affirm that violence has no place in our society.
In August, a Trump supporter was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sending pipe bombs to CNN and other opponents of the president.
5. As much as I hate to post this, given how much people are talking about this story, and that it involves the president's club, his supporters, and an organization that supports him, here's the video in question: pic.twitter.com/qqtllitsIP
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) October 14, 2019
In a Monday morning tweet, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote that Trump will watch the video “shortly” but is getting the condemnation out of the way first:
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) October 14, 2019
“That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence,” a spokesman for the Trump campaign told the Times.
Cindy and Meghan McCain also spoke out against the video on Twitter:
Reports describing a violent video played at a Trump Campaign event in which images of reporters & @JohnMcCain are being slain by Pres Trump violate every norm our society expects from its leaders& the institutions that bare their names. I stand w/ @whca in registering my outrage
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) October 14, 2019
Also you’d be screaming bloody murder if something like this was shown at an Adam Schiff or Obama event. So please for God’s sake just stop. This video is disgusting and disturbing and any human with any moral clarity sees that. https://t.co/3jU14QUnDQ
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) October 14, 2019
Among the attendees at the conference was Donald Trump Jr., who condemned the clip through a spokesman.
“Don hasn’t seen the video and was unaware of its existence until the recent media reports about it, but he strongly condemns the type of disgusting and graphic violence purported to be depicted in the video against members of the media,” the spokesman said Monday.
“Regardless of political party, we should all reject any and all violence in our politics, whether it’s directed towards members of the media, politicians, the family members of politicians or political activists.”
The conference host and pro-Trump group American Priority issued a statement on Sunday saying the video was not approved or viewed by the conference organizers and that they only became aware of it upon being contacted by the Times. The group said it “always has and always will condemn political violence.”
Trump has derided the media throughout his presidency derided the media, labeling coverage he dislikes “fake news” and describing certain organizations as the “enemy of the people.” He regularly points out reporters in the room at his rallies, whipping his supporters into a frenzy.
He has continued hammering the press despite those in the industry and in Congress warning that it could lead to violence, and even after one of his supporters mailed explosive devices to CNN and some of the president’s prominent critics.