Tapper: Kathy Griffin's Trump photo 'disgusting'

CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Tuesday denounced a gory photo of comedian Kathy Griffin holding a fake severed head resembling President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP grapples with chaotic Senate primary in Pennsylvania ​​Trump social media startup receives commitment of billion from unidentified 'diverse group' of investors Iran thinks it has the upper hand in Vienna — here's why it doesn't MORE that a panel on the channel dismissed.

"It’s pretty disgusting,” Tapper said on "The Lead" after warning viewers with children of the graphic image. “I can’t imagine how anybody would think that’s appropriate.”

He noted that Griffin has done work for CNN on New Year's Eve as co-host of its Times Square special with Anderson Cooper.

Tapper pointed to criticism of the image from Donald Trump Jr. and others in asking his panel that included The Atlantic's Molly Ball, former Obama State Department spokeswoman and CNN contributor Jen Psaki and Republican strategist David Urban, a CNN contributor, to weigh in.


"Who is saying it's acceptable discourse?" asked Ball. 

"Don Trump Jr.," Tapper replied.

"Who is saying it’s even discourse?" Ball continued. "I mean, I have a hard time bringing myself to care about something like this. I think it just speaks to the need to see themselves as a victim that they have, that they are constantly being persecuted."

"The Trumps you’re talking about," Tapper clarified.

"The Trump people are constantly having to point to the elites who are looking down on them," argued Ball. "Of course, comedians and celebrities say dumb stuff and do dumb stuff and violence is not appropriate, but I just don’t think that that’s the source of President Trump’s problems."

Urban, who served as a strategist to the Trump campaign, also didn't find the photo to be worthy of discussion. 

"I think we’ve got much bigger issues to focus on than Kathy Griffin," he said.

Psaki agreed with Urban.

"Agreed with David," she said.

The 56-year-old Griffin posed for photographer Tyler Shields for the image, which was first obtained by TMZ.

The photo has been condemned by those on the left and right, including Chelsea Clinton, Keith Olbermann and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Griffin defended the image on social media, tweeting that she does not "condone ANY violence" and she was "mocking the Mocker-in-Chief."

CNN has not commented on Griffin's status with the network for co-hosting its New Year's Eve special, which she has done for the past 10 years with Cooper.