UPDATE: The White House has issued an initial statement on the video depicting a fictionalized version of President Donald Trump engaging in acts of violence, shown at a pro-Trump conference held at his Doral resort last week.
“Re: the video played over the weekend: The @POTUS @realDonaldTrump has not yet seen the video, he will see it shortly, but based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote in a tweet, per reporting via AlterNet.
Our original reporting on the subject matter appears below.
The video showed a scene from an action movie — except the main character’s head had been replaced, superimposed with President Donald Trump’s face instead.
As the character entered a church, he shoots and stabs a multitude of individuals, CBS News reported. In the movie, these are unnamed characters. In this version of the video, however, shown last week during an event hosted by American Priority, a pro-Trump group, at his Doral Miami resort, the unnamed characters have other individuals’ heads superimposed on them, too — purported political “foes” of the president’s.
The “targets” the fictional version of Trump was shooting included former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Reps. Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff, and former GOP Sen. John McCain. The shooting in the movie was edited to take place at a supposed “Church of Fake News,” and targeted CNN, PBS, NBC, Politico, the Washington Post, and other news outlets as well.
The video was not sanctioned by the White House or promoted by the president. American Priority, in a statement about the video, said it condemned the unauthorized video, too, and hadn’t approved of it being shown to members at its conference last week.
But in its statement, the American Priority also took aim at a news outlet that had reported on the video.
“This video was not approved, seen, or sanctioned by the #AMPFest19 organizers,” and the organization was “not even aware of the video until they were contacted” by the New York Times, a statement from American Priority read.
The group also found it “shocking that media “would not report on any of the sanctioned events in the article,” including one in which violence was discussed. American Priority “always has and always will condemn political violence,” the group added.
This is about so much more than a single video. It's about what happens when you plant seeds of hatred and division. It's about what happens when you give your supporters permission to hate and dehumanize critics. https://t.co/X77yPhn8JG
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 14, 2019
Several journalists are hoping for the White House, which hasn’t yet given a statement on the video, to issue an official response, or for Trump himself to speak out against it, noting that his rhetoric in the past has inspired violence before.
“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents,” White House Correspondents Association President Jonathan Karl said in response to the video, per reporting from the Associated Press. “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.”
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.