Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics

A video depicting President TrumpDonald John TrumpCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Outgoing inspector general says Trump fired him for carrying out his 'legal obligations' Trump hits Illinois governor after criticism: 'I hear him complaining all the time' 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 slams Texas official who suggested grandparents risk their lives for economy during pandemic Hispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate MORE (D-Texas), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Cindy McCain, the widow of former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainEsper faces tough questions on dismissal of aircraft carrier's commander Democratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response GOP senator suspending campaign fundraising, donating paycheck amid coronavirus pandemic 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 WatersOvernight Health Care: White House projects grim death toll from coronavirus | Trump warns of 'painful' weeks ahead | US surpasses China in official virus deaths | CDC says 25 percent of cases never show symptoms Democrats, Trump set to battle over implementing T relief bill Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersCampaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Cuomo's been good, but he's not going to be the Democratic nominee Does Joe Biden really want to be president? MORE (I-Vt.), John McCain and Rosie O'Donnell are also among his targets in the video.

Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTwitter says coronavirus disinformation spread by Chinese officials does not violate rules Former lawyer for trophy hunting group joins Trump administration A rarely used fine could limit the spread of the coronavirus to the United States MORE, former White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersFox News's Hume rips Alexander over 'gotcha' question to Trump NBC's Alexander: I gave Trump 'a softball' question as opportunity to 'reassure' Americans Coronavirus puts new use to White House press briefing room MORE Sanders and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisScott Gottlieb becomes key voice warning Trump, GOP on coronavirus Is the coronavirus igniting a war of all against all? Religious groups battle orders to close services 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 MurphyDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Testing struggles emerge as key hurdle to reopening country Democratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers 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 DeutchOcasio-Cortez knocks Pence: 'Utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response' Father of Parkland shooting victim calls on Congress to take action Florida 'red flag' law has removed hundreds of guns: report 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 GrishamOAN says it will attend briefing as White House guest after violating social distancing rules UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus White House press secretary to return to work after negative virus test 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.