Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics

A video depicting President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves 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'RourkeO'Rourke seizes on Texas power grid in bid against Abbott McConaughey on Texas run: 'I will let you know shortly' O'Rourke raises M in first 24 hours of Texas governor campaign MORE (D-Texas), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Cindy McCain, the widow of former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid 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 WatersMcCarthy pledges to restore Greene, Gosar to committees if GOP wins House The Memo: Gosar censured, but toxic culture grows House votes to censure Gosar and boot him from committees MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Bernie Sanders' ex-spokesperson apprehensive over effectiveness of SALT deductions BBB threatens the role of parents in raising — and educating — children MORE (I-Vt.), John McCain and Rosie O'Donnell are also among his targets in the video.

Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpHow Trump uses fundraising emails to remain undisputed leader of the GOP Donald Trump Jr. joins Cameo Book claims Trump family members were 'inappropriately' close with Secret Service agents MORE, former White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersHow Biden should sell his infrastructure bill Trump expected to resume rallies in June Andrew Giuliani planning run for New York governor MORE Sanders and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisWalt Disney World pauses vaccine mandate after DeSantis signs new legislation Fauci overwhelmed by calls after journal published mistake over beagle experiments DeSantis signs legislation limiting vaccine mandates in 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 MurphySenate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO Israel signals confidence in its relationship with Biden Senators' personal office staffers to get top security clearance: report 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 DeutchLobbying world Ethics watchdog finds 'substantial' evidence Rep. Malinowski failed to disclose stocks Overnight Health Care — Presented by The National Council for Mental Wellbeing — FDA panel advises Moderna booster shot for high-risk people 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 GrishamBiden briefly transfers power to Harris while he gets colonoscopy Grisham thinks Trump will run in 2024 and have no 'guardrails' Sunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony 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.