Fake Video of Trump Shooting Media Played at His Resort Was ‘Unauthorized,’ Conference Organizers Say

A graphic video that shows a fake President Donald Trump shooting, stabbing, and generally assaulting members of the media and prominent political figures was shown at the American Priority conference in Miami last week—a pro-Trump event held at one of the president’s resorts.

First reported by The New York Times, the video was played at the Trump National Doral Miami and reportedly depicts a scene in the “Church of Fake News,” in which Trump opens fire on people depicting a range of media outlets the president has previously criticized, such as CNN, NPR, NBC, BBC, Politico, and the Washington Post.

Other targets include the late John McCain, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), former President Barack Obama, and the Clintons. It also includes the logo for Trump’s 2020 campaign.

The Times reports that the video was shown as part of a “meme exhibit” at the conference. Speakers at the event included Donald Trump Jr. and former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but it is not clear whether they saw the video.

Organizers of the conference posted a statement in response to the video, calling it “unauthorized,” and noting that it was “not approved, seen, or sanctioned.” They reportedly only became aware of the existence of the video when the Times contacted them for comment.

A number of organizations and people depicted in the video have also responded, expressing outrage at its content. The White House Correspondents’ Association shared a statement in response, saying they are “horrified” and call on all Americans to “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,” the statement continues. “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.” 

Cindy McCain, wife of the late John McCain, said that the video “violate[s] every norm our society expects from its leaders & the institutions that bare their names.”

CNN also released a statement, noting that while this is not the first time Trump has promoted violence, it is far worse than earlier instances:

“The images depicted are vile and horrific. 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.”

Current White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted the White House’s response on Monday, writing, “Re: the video played over the weekend: The  @POTUS @realDonaldTrump has not yet seen the video, he will see it shortly, but based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video.”

The video, which ends with Trump putting a stake in the head of a person with a CNN logo, appears to have some similarities with a video Trump tweeted two years ago, that showed him body slamming CNN in a wrestling match.

Reports suggest this video was originally posted to YouTube in 2018.

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—As the steel industry falters, will Trump pay a political price?
—Government websites have changed language used to refer to migrant children. Why some advocates are worried
—How Trump’s Syria announcement blindsided many GOP supporters
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