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‘Tacit endorsement of violence’: White House has yet to condemn edited video showing Trump gunning down media and political opponents

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An edited video depicting President Donald Trump gunning down his political opponents and the media inside a church was reportedly played to a conference of his supporters last week at the Trump National Doral Golf Resort in Miami, drawing outrage from journalists and others who condemned the clip as a blatant incitement to violence.

The New York Times, which obtained footage of the clip being shown at the pro-Trump conference, reported late Sunday that the video “shows Mr. Trump’s head superimposed on the body of a man opening fire inside the ‘Church of Fake News’ on parishioners who have the faces of his critics or the logos of media organizations superimposed on their bodies.”

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“The video of a mass shooting by the president inside a church is reminiscent of the Charleston shooting. Executing members of the media is reminiscent of the Maryland newsroom shooting.”
—Shannon Watts, Moms Demand Action

The video is an edited scene from the 2014 film “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and contains a logo for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.

Among those targeted in the video are Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Black Lives Matter, Politico, and CNN.

As of this writing, Trump has yet to condemn the video. The president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the Times they did not see the video played at the conference.

Watch the video, which apparently originated from the right-wing account “TheGeekzTeam”:

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(Warning: Graphic content.)

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Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said “the video of a mass shooting by the president inside a church is reminiscent of the Charleston shooting. Executing members of the media is reminiscent of the Maryland newsroom shooting.”

“This video is racist and hateful,” said Watts, “and it’s flabbergasting that it was shown at Trump’s resort.”

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In a statementCNN said “this is not the first time that supporters of the president have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining—but it is far and away the worst.”

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“The images depicted are vile and horrific,” said CNN. “The president and his family, the White House, and the Trump campaign need to denounce it immediately in the strongest possible terms. Anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence and should not be tolerated by anyone.”

Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), called the video “vile and dangerous.”

“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the president’s political opponents,” Karl said in a statement late Sunday. “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.”

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