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Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics

A video depicting President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE shooting and stabbing media organizations and some of his most prominent critics drew widespread backlash after The New York Times reported it was played at a conservative conference over the weekend at Trump's Doral resort.

Democrats and media organizations warned as the video circulated on YouTube and social media that it could incite further violence, with some calling on Trump to speak out and condemn the clip.

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"At a conference of Trump supporters, they played a video of our president murdering journalists in a church. Last year, a Trump supporter sent bombs to CNN—and a shooter entered a church yesterday. This video isn’t funny. It will get people killed," tweeted former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeCalls grow for Democrats to ramp up spending in Texas Texas Dems highlight health care in fight to flip state House Union leader vows 'infrequent' minority voters will help deliver Biden victory MORE (D-Texas), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Cindy McCain, the widow of former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainObama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Mark Kelly releases Spanish ad featuring Rep. Gallego More than 300 military family members endorse Biden MORE (R-Ariz.), weighed in after it was reported that the late senator was among those depicted as Trump's victims in the video.

"Reports describing a violent video played at a Trump Campaign event in which images of reporters & @JohnMcCain are being slain by Pres Trump violate every norm our society expects from its leaders & the institutions that bare their names," she tweeted. "I stand w/@whca [White House Correspondents' Association] in registering my outrage."

The video, which has been uploaded to YouTube and Twitter since the Times first reported on it, is taken from a clip of the film "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and shows Trump's head superimposed on the body of a character going on a violent rampage inside the “Church of Fake News." 

He is depicted gunning down and stabbing people with the faces of his critics and media organizations' logos superimposed onto them. Among the outlets featured in the video are Politico, The Washington Post, NPR and The Hill.

Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersCompanies start responding to pressure to bolster minority representation Democratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Safeguarding US elections by sanctioning Russian sovereign debt MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIntercept bureau chief says congressional progressives looking to become stronger force in 2021 Obama book excerpt: 'Hard to deny my overconfidence' during early health care discussions Americans have a choice: Socialized medicine or health care freedom MORE (I-Vt.), John McCain and Rosie O'Donnell are also among his targets in the video.

Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump's company paid at least .5M by federal government: report Latest 'Borat' footage appears to show star at the White House, meeting Trump Jr. Trump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining MORE, former White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersSarah Sanders on Trump's reported war dead criticism: 'Those comments didn't happen' Sarah Sanders memoir reportedly says Trump joked she should hook up with Kim Jong Un McEnany stamps her brand on White House press operation MORE Sanders and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisTrump's new interest in water resources — why now? Trump campaign says it didn't hire armed guards outside Florida polling place Trump jokes he'll 'find a way' to fire Gov. DeSantis if he loses Florida MORE (R) were among those scheduled to speak at the American Priority conference.

The event's organizer denounced the video and said his organization was looking into how it was shown at the event. 

Lawmakers whose home states and districts have been hit by gun violence were among the first to speak out against the video.

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Democrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Democrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle MORE (D-Conn.), who has been one of the most prominent advocates for gun control since the Sandy Hook massacre in his home state, urged every parent in the country to watch the video.

"Play it all the way to end. Know that this is the re-election message of your President," he tweeted. "And then ask yourself — how you sit your kids down and tell them you want this person to lead us."

Rep. Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Florida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Matt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid MORE (D-Fla.), who represents Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed at a high school in 2018, highlighted recent mass shootings in places of worship, at the Capital Gazette newspaper and at a GOP congressional baseball practice. 

"We must demand better than this," he tweeted.

Media organizations and journalists were also quick to condemn the video, with many worrying that it would inflame the president's already incendiary rhetoric toward the press, which he often derides as "fake news" and the "enemy of the people."

White House Correspondents' Association President Jon Karl said in a statement that the organization was "horrified" by the clip.

"All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents," he 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."

CNN, which has been among the most regular targets for criticism from Trump, blasted the video as "vile and horrific" and called on Trump to condemn it in the "strongest possible terms."

White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump cancels campaign appearance over 'lingering cough' The Memo: Trump grapples with credibility gap in crisis President Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 MORE tweeted Monday morning that Trump had not yet seen the video, but would watch it shortly.

"But based upon everything he has heard he strongly condemns the video," Grisham tweeted.