Trump meeting leaders of video game industry

Trump meeting leaders of video game industry
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE is set to meet on Thursday with executives from the video game industry about what he has claimed is a link between violence their products and real-life violence.

"The president wants to continue the conversation on every different area that we can to help promote school safety," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Sanders also said that violence in video games is "certainly something that should be looked at." The meeting is expected to be one of several, and will also be attended by members of Congress, including Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio: Trump's remarks on Russian election meddling 'not accurate' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Scottish beer company offering ‘tiny cans’ for Trump’s ‘tiny hands’ MORE (R-Fla.), Rep. Vicky HartzlerVicky Jo HartzlerFive GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus Lawmakers target Chinese security companies over spy fears Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (R-Mo.) and Rep. Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyElection Countdown: Latest on the 2018 Senate money race | Red-state Dems feeling the heat over Kavanaugh | Dem doubts about Warren | Ocasio-Cortez to visit Capitol Hill | Why Puerto Ricans in Florida could swing Senate race Election Countdown: Calls to abolish ICE test Dem candidates | First round of House GOP 'Young Guns' | How Tester is handling Trump's Montana visit | Dem candidate won't back Schumer as leader | Super PACs ramp up Missouri ad buys Trump invokes Pelosi in endorsing Alabama Republican ahead of runoff MORE (R-Ala.), as well as conservative activists.

The industry representatives on hand will include Pat Vance, the president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which puts parental advisories on videogames, and Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherThe Hill's Morning Report — Battle lines drawn: Kavanaugh’s confirmation fight gets under way On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump suggests China is easing pressure on North Korea because of trade fight | Mulvaney taps top aide as No. 2 at consumer bureau | House Republican to offer bill to curtail Trump's trade powers GOP rep to introduce bill to curtail Trump's trade powers MORE, the president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association.

Prominent video game executives will also be at the meeting, including Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of "Grand Theft Auto" publisher Rockstar Games, and Robert Altman, the chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media, the publisher of popular games like the "Fallout" series, "Skyrim," and the "Wolfenstein" series.

Trump suggested in the wake of a deadly shooting at a South Florida high school last month that video games may be partially to blame for the rash of gun violence in the U.S.

Trump said last week that he was struck by violence in the media consumed by his 11-year-old son Barron, and that it's "hard to believe" that such simulated violence doesn't have an impact on at least some young people.

"I look at some of the things he’s watching, and I say, how is that possible?" Trump said.

But his suggestion that a link exists between violence in the virtual world and the real world apparently goes back years.

"Video game violence & glorification must be stopped – it is creating monsters!" Trump wrote in a 2012 tweet

Dan Hewitt, a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association, dismissed the notion that video games are driving violent behavior in real life, noting that while other countries also have violent video games, the U.S. still has a higher rate of gun violence.

"Like all Americans, we are deeply concerned about the level of gun violence in the United States," Hewitt said, according to Reuters. "Video games are plainly not the issue: entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the U.S. has an exponentially higher level of gun violence than any other nation."

—Harper Neidig contributed reporting.