A graphic doctored video depicting a figure superimposed with Donald Trump's face killing members of the media as well as political rivals like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain, has drawn outrage for inciting violence.
According to the New York Times, the video appears to be an edited clip of a church massacre from the 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service. In it, Trump's head is pasted on the body of a character played by Colin Firth; the figure then opens fire inside the “Church of Fake News," killing people who have the faces of his critics or logos of media organizations (including PBS, NPR, Politico, The Washington Post, and NBC) superimposed on their bodies.
Per the Times, the video was shown at a conference for his supporters at his Miami resort last week. Donald Trump Jr. and Trump's former White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, were scheduled to speak at the event, though Sanders and a person close to Trump’s son told the Times Sunday that they did not see the video.
According to the Times, in the video, "Mr. Trump stops in the middle of the church, pulls a gun out of his suit jacket pocket and begins a graphic rampage. As the parishioners try to flee, the president fires at them. He shoots Black Lives Matter in the head, and also shoots Vice News."
Following the report, the video drew strong condemnation.
This video is appalling, and it’s content is violent, misogynistic and racist. It also makes light of the unbelievable pain experienced by gun violence survivors. It should be condemned - immediately and strongly - by political leaders before it does more damage. #TrumpVideo— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) October 14, 2019
The video is heinous. But this is not just about the media & Mr. Trump’s “political rivals.” @Blklivesmatter is not a”rival” of this President. It is a human rights organization focused on the issue of anti-Black violence, especially police killing of unarmed Black ppl.— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) October 14, 2019
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. I stand w/ @whca in registering my outrage— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) October 14, 2019
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. https://t.co/XWtq1z38Kc— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) October 14, 2019
Alex Phillips, the organizer of the event told the Times that the clip had been played at the conference, saying it was part of a "meme exhibit."
"Content was submitted by third parties and was not associated with or endorsed by the conference in any official capacity," he said. "American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech. This matter is under review."
The video called to mind the 2015 Charleston church shooting, in which an armed white supremacist opened fire on a church and killed nine Black people. Earlier this year, a gunman who opened fire in a shooting in El Paso, Tex., posted a hateful manifesto online that parroted Trump's views about immigration.
Actress Kathy Griffin, who infamously posed for a photo while holding a bloodied, fake severed head meant to look like Trump, was also depicted as a victim in the video. After news of the doctored video went viral, people on Twitter recalled her photoshoot, and the actress herself weighed in, calling out critics of her photo who were not similarly outraged by the video.
The Kathy Griffin photo is getting compared to the MAGA Kingsman video. There’s one huge difference, though. Griffin supporters don’t go on mass-murdering sprees. Some Trump supporters do.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) October 14, 2019
Remember when Kathy Griffin took a picture of a fake head and people literally lost their minds. They tried to ruin her career, and chastised the left for weeks about how violent they were?— lisastark35 (@lisastark351) October 14, 2019
Think we’ll hear from those same people today over this video?
I get asked in interviews “what’s WAS(🤣) the hardest part of the photo scandal?” Now this #TrumpVideo. I never broke the law, or violated the 1A. I’ll be watching to see if anyone has the balls this to advocate for me this time...publicly. Hello???— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) October 14, 2019
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Monday that the president has not seen the video, but "strongly condemns" it.
During his presidency, Trump has often made attacks on the news media, and in 2017 tweeted a doctored video of himself "wrestling" CNN down to the ground.