The White House Correspondents’ Association on Sunday night condemned “a video reportedly shown” at a pro-Trump event held at a Trump resort in Miami that depicted graphic violence against journalists and various political figures.
“The WHCA is horrified by a video reportedly shown over the weekend at a political conference organized by the President’s supporters at the Trump National Doral in Miami,“ said the statement, issued in the name of WHCA president Jonathan Karl.
“All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed toward journalists and the President’s political opponents. 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.”
The WHCA statement followed a report Sunday in the New York Times of a graphic video shown to Trump supporters at a conference at the Florida facility.
The Times report said: “The video, which includes the logo for Mr. Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, comprises a series of internet memes. The most violent clip 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.“
Besides journalists, other targets depicted include the late John McCain, California Reps. Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
The Trump character in the video shoots, stab and beats his victims; at one point, he sets Bernie Sanders’ head on fire. Other past and present election rivals also are depicted.
The footage seems to have been converted for political use from a 2014 movie, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” The parallel scene in that movie depicts a massacre inside a church in Kentucky triggered by an evil tycoon portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.
— American Priority Conference (@AmericanP2019) October 14, 2019
Alex Phillips of American Priority, the group organizing the event in Miami, told the Times that the video was produced by an outside organization.
American Priority said in a statement on Twitter that it had not been aware of the video and did not approve it.
“It has come to our attention that an unauthorized video was shown,” the group said, adding that the video had been shown in a “side room.”
Trump has frequently attacked what he calls “fake news“ generated by many news organizations throughout his presidency, sometimes directly attacking a specific news organization or reporter, sometimes attacking the media as a whole. In recent months, he has even attacked his favored news outlet, Fox News. The president also regularly heaps scorn on journalists covering his campaign rallies.