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After a violent video depicting President Donald Trump on a murder rampage against members of the media and political opponents was shown during a conference at a Trump resort, the people “killed” in the video have called on him to denounce it.
It’s an edited version of the film “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” featuring a church massacre scene. In the video, Trump’s face is superimposed over the body of a shooter who brutally attacks and kills congregation members with faces of media organization logos and critics.
The White House said Monday morning that Trump had not yet seen the video but would see it soon. Based on what he had heard, though, he strongly condemned it.
More: Fake video of Trump shooting media and political opponents shown at conference, according to report
Here’s what we know so far about the video and how it ended up being played in a room at Trump’s Miami-based resort during a conference put on by a pro-Trump group.
Where did the video come from?
The group TheGeekzTeam is a pro-Trump meme video generator with nearly 20,000 YouTube subscribers.
Its Youtube page has several videos featuring Trump violently attacking Democrats and media organizations. In a similar one, musician and actor Donald Glover’s music video for the song “This is America” is spoofed to again show Trump shooting members of the media.
The first existence of the “Kingsman” video appears to be in a YouTube upload from the meme group in July 2018, which was also tweeted out at the same time.The caption of the video reads, “Fake News is very real and very present. Even through all the hate thats thrown at Trump daily, he still wants to help this nation back on it’s feet and make it great again!”
The American Priority conference organizer, Alex Phillips, says organizers were not aware of the video and did not approve its usage at the event. Phillips said it was part of a “meme exhibit” that was played in a “side room” and submitted by third parties.
The conference agenda did include a breakout session called “Memetics.”
Phillips said the first time organizers were aware of the meme was when The New York Times, which first reported on the video, contacted them. Phillips told The Times that “this matter is under review.”
The Times said that it obtained footage of the clip being played at the conference by an attendee, who passed it onto an intermediary, who then sent it to a reporter.
“American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech,” Phillips said.
Who is in the video?
The lawmakers depicted being shot, stabbed and set on fire in the video include a plethora of Trump critics from both sides of the aisle. Republicans Sen. Mitt Romney and the late Sen. John McCain are among them.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama are some of the many progressives attacked in the video.
Celebrity comedian Kathy Griffin, who was in the video, condemned it as more than just a joke.
“I’m depicted as being murdered by The President of the United States in this video,” Griffin tweeted late Sunday. “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.”
McCain’s family members said the video “violate[s] every norm our society expects from its leaders.” (The video was created before McCain’s death but after his cancer diagnosis was public).
Trump was not involved in its creation, but has been silent on Twitter
The Trump administration and campaign were not involved in the video’s creation or distribution, according to spokespeople.
Trump is known to attack members of the press, referring to them repeatedly as the “Fake News.”
Since the White House acknowledged on Monday morning that Trump is aware of the video’s contents—despite not seeing it first hand—Trump has tweeted several times. He has shared Fox News clips, endorsed Sean Spicer on “Dancing With the Stars” and lambasted Hunter Biden. He has even repeated his “Fake News” refrain.
Wow! Hunter Biden is being forced to leave a Chinese Company. Now watch the Fake News wrap their greasy and very protective arms around him. Only softball questions of him please!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
The White House said that based on his knowledge of the video this morning, he strongly condemned it. But Trump has not personally remarked on the video.
The White House Correspondents’ Association and CNN called on Trump to denounce the video.
“We have previously told the President his rhetoric would 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,” Jonathan Karl, the president of WHCA, said in a statement.