White House condemns violent video

The White House on Monday condemned a video that surfaced over the weekend showing a superimposed picture of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE shooting members of the media and his political foes, but the president himself remained silent despite numerous calls to speak out.

White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamDemocrats seize on new evidence in first public impeachment hearing More Democrats in poll say Trump will finish first term amid impeachment inquiry The Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats open televised impeachment hearings MORE issued a tweet Monday morning saying Trump had not yet seen the clip “but based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video.” 


The White House declined to comment on the record about whether or not Trump had watched the video as of Monday afternoon, but at no point did he personally chime in on its contents.

The president had no public events on his schedule for Monday, a federal holiday. 

He announced sanctions against Turkey for its offensive in northern Syria following a meeting of top administration officials and tweeted about various issues throughout the day. 

He rejected criticisms of his policy in Syria, bashed Hunter Biden and sent good wishes to former press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerThe Hill's Morning Report - Witness transcripts plow ground for public impeachment testimony Sean Spicer eliminated from 'Dancing with the Stars' Trump Jr.: How can Dems beat Trump if they can't boot Sean Spicer from DWTS? MORE, who is on Dancing With the Stars.

But he did not comment on the incendiary video, which has circulated online since The New York Times first reported on it Sunday.

The footage is an altered clip from the film "Kingsman: The Secret Service." It shows a person with Trump’s head superimposed on his body gunning down and stabbing people with the faces of his political foes and media organizations’ logos superimposed onto them in a “Church of Fake News.”

The video was reportedly shown at a conservative conference held at Trump’s National Doral golf resort in Miami, Fla.

Among the attendees at the conference was Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr's 'Triggered' debuts at No. 1 on NY Times bestseller list GOP motions to subpoena whistleblower University of Florida student government president faces impeachment over Trump Jr. appearance MORE, 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 video has invited strong backlash from media organizations and political figures, including a number of Democrats whose districts have been affected by mass shootings.

The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) called on Trump to denounce the video in a statement late Sunday, describing it as horrifying.

“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents,” WHCA President Jon Karl said.

“We have previously told the President his rhetoric could incite violence,” he continued. “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.”

A CNN spokesperson ripped the footage as “vile and horrific.”

Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke says he 'absolutely' plans to stay in politics Krystal Ball: Buttigieg is 'the boomer candidate' Language is a weapon in political warfare — if the media play along MORE, a Democratic presidential candidate who has emerged as a fierce advocate of gun control, warned that the video “is going to get people killed.”

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.

The president in 2017 tweeted out another edited video that depicted him at a WWE event pummeling CNN.

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.