The White House Correspondents Association said it was “horrified” by a violent video depicting President Trump stabbing, shooting and impaling the media and top political opponents like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, shown at a conference for his supporters at Trump’s Miami resort last week.
“The WHCA is horrified by a video reportedly shown over the weekend at a political conference organized by the President’s supporters at Trump National Doral in Miami,” said the statement from President Jonathan Karl on Sunday. The group called for Americans to condemn the depiction of violence against journalists and the president’s political opponents.
Later on Monday morning, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said via Twitter that Trump will see the video shortly and that, “based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video.”
The New York Times first reported of the existence of the video, which it said was played at a three-day conference was held by the pro-Trump group American Priority. The video, a digitally altered version of a scene from 2015’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” inserts Trump’s head on the body of the shooter as well as media logos and the faces of Democratic rivals on the victims.
Journalists reacted quickly. Karl, who is also ABC News’ Chief White House correspondent, called it “dangerous” on Twitter. Politico’s Andrew Desiderio wrote, “This is an incitement to violence that didn’t just come from the dark corners of the Internet — it was shown at a pro-Trump conference at one of his resorts. I’m speechless.”
CNN issued a statement calling on Trump to condemn it: “The president and his family, the White House and the Trump campaign need to denounce it immediately in the strongest possible terms,” the network said in a statement. “Anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence and should not be tolerated by anyone.”
And Kathy Griffin, who sparked outrage for a photo shoot in which she held Trump’s severed head, also spoke out on Twitter: “Im depicted as being murdered by The President of the United States in this video.The left, right & center left me hanging out to dry regarding the Trump mask photo. Please don’t let it happen again. No, this video isn’t a joke to his followers. And it will not be taken as such.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A statement on the Twitter account for American Priority called the video “unauthorized” and said it was shown in a side room. “The video was not approved, seen, or sanctioned by the #AMPFest19 organizers,” it says. It goes on to criticize the Times for not reporting on “any of the sanctioned events in the article.”