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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 TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds 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 GrishamMcEnany hits Democratic leaders for not following their own COVID-19 restrictions Capitol physician advises lawmakers against attending dinners, receptions during COVID-19 spike White House moves forward with holiday parties during pandemic 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.” 

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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 SpicerRealClearPolitics editor corrects Giuliani on Pennsylvania claim: 'This is false' Job-seeking Trump officials likely to get chilly reception on K Street Trump challenges electoral process as hopes for victory fade 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.Don John TrumpTrump Jr. in radio ad: Father's 'accomplishments' are on the ballot in Georgia Senate races Trump Jr. aides launch super PAC to persuade president's supporters to vote in Georgia Most Republicans in new poll say they'd vote for Trump in 2024 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'RourkeMexican president breaks with other world leaders, refusing to acknowledge Biden win until election is finalized Mexico emerging as foreign policy challenge for Biden Beyoncé sports pro-Biden mask on Instagram 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.