Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump

Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval (D) apologized Sunday after photos were published online showing someone who had attended his fundraiser pointing a toy gun at someone wearing a President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE mask and pretending to be shot.

The photos were posted online along with photos of Sandoval posing separately with the man who was holding the toy gun. Sandoval was tagged in the images, which were apparently taken at the Klein Creek Golf Club, where CBS 3 WCIA reported Sandoval had held the fundraiser.

After the images circulated and provoked outrage, including criticism from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzer, a Democrat, Sandoval released an apology. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The incident that took place is unacceptable,” he told CBS 3 WCIA. “I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”

It is unclear if Sandoval knew about the photos showing the man pointing the toy gun at another person wearing the Trump mask.

Pritzker condemned the incident.

“As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong,” Pritzker said. “I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demands.”

Tim Schneider, the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said Sandoval should fire the person in the photo if they work for him or volunteer. 

"It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way," he said.

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayBrazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record Conway: Reported sexist Bloomberg remarks 'far worse' than what Trump said on 'Access Hollywood' tape Candidates make electability arguments, talk Bloomberg as focus turns to more diverse states MORE also ripped the images on Twitter, and said Democrats should be asked if they disavow the images.