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Backlash erupts at video depicting Trump killing media, critics

A video depicting President TrumpDonald TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' 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 clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor O'Rourke slams Cruz for video of border visit MORE (D-Texas), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Cindy McCain, the widow of former Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBush says he doesn't criticize other presidents to avoid risking friendship with Michelle Obama 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party George W. Bush: 'It's a problem that Americans are so polarized' they can't imagine him being friends with Michelle Obama 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 WatersJim Jordan, Val Demings get in shouting match about police during hearing Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales Waters on Chauvin guilty verdict: 'I'm not celebrating, I'm relieved' MORE (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNewsmax host: Jury decided to 'sacrifice' Chauvin to the mob Lawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Senate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term MORE (I-Vt.), John McCain and Rosie O'Donnell are also among his targets in the video.

Donald Trump Jr.Don TrumpTrump Jr. shares edited video showing father knocking Biden down with golf ball Trump: 'I can't imagine' any Republican would beat me in 2024 primary if I run Trump Jr.: There are 'plenty' of GOP incumbents who should be challenged MORE, former White House press secretary Sarah HuckabeeSarah SandersAndrew Giuliani planning run for New York governor Trump appears at Sarah Huckabee Sanders campaign event Trump likely to form new super PAC MORE Sanders and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida Senate appears unlikely to pass transgender sports bill Florida state lawmaker entering race to succeed Hastings DeSantis signs 'anti-riot bill' cracking down on 'public disorder' 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 MurphyWe need laws to stop gun violence, but we need to stop glorifying it, too Senators in the dark on parliamentarian's decision Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents 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 DeutchFor a win on climate, let's put our best player in the game Lawmakers want Biden to pressure Saudi Arabia to end Yemen blockade House panel opens probe into Tom Reed over sexual misconduct allegations 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 GrishamKayleigh McEnany joins Fox News as co-host of 'Outnumbered' Melania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam 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.