President Donald Trump has not seen a doctored video shown to his supporters at one of his resorts in which he is depicted gunning down members of the media and other critics, but based on “everything he has heard, he strongly condemns the video,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham wrote on Twitter.
The video was shown last week at a three-day conference of the president’s supporters at the Trump National Doral Miami, the New York Times reported Sunday evening.
In his morning tweets, Trump did not address the video. He did urge followers to vote for Sean Spicer, his former press secretary, on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. Spicer is set to appear again on Monday night.
The video includes a logo for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign and shows the gunman walking through a church, shooting, stabbing and beating members of the news media, celebrities, and Trump’s political rivals. The Trump campaign told the Times it had nothing to do with the video.
The White House Correspondents Association condemned the video and called on Trump to denounce it.
“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed towards journalists,” the group’s statement said. “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.”
Among those depicted in the video is late senator John McCain.
His widow, Cindy McCain, wrote on Twitter on Monday that the video violates “every norm our society expects form its leaders and the institutions that bare their names. I stand with @whca in registering my outrage.”
The footage in the video includes what appears to be an edited scene from the film Kingsman: The Secret Service.
The video shows Trump’s head on the body of a man who walks through the “Church of Fake News,” and opens fire on people resembling his critics. The footage is set to music and shows the gunman targeting parishioners whose faces have been replaced by the logos of media organizations.
The gunman shoots Vox, Politico and Vice News. He stabs Huff Post, The Washington Post and Rosie O’Donnell, and attacks Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). The killer then sets Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on fire. A man with a BBC News logo on his head pulls out a gun and tries to fight back, but the killer pummels him, turns and opens fire on a person with The Hill logo in their head.
The carnage continues with the gunman opening fire on Black Lives Matter, MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). The man then beats former President Barack Obama, attacks CNN, shoots CBS at close range, and beats former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Near the end of the video, a Kathy Griffin look-alike is hit with a sledgehammer.
CNN also denounced the video in a strongly-worded statement.
“Sadly, this is not the first time that supporters of the president have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining — but it is by far and away the worst,” the statement said. “The images depicted are vile and horrific. The president and his family, the White House and the Trump campaign need to denounce it immediately in the strongest possible terms. Anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence and should not be tolerated by anyone.”