At a time when our nation is facing an epidemic of mass shootings, supporters of President Donald Trump, at a conference held at one of the president’s resorts, showed a violent depiction of a fake Trump massacring members of the news media using a gun and other weapons, The New York Times reported Sunday night.
American Priority, a group that supports the president, hosted the conference at Trump National Doral Miami. Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., and Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis were all scheduled to speak at the event. But Huckabee Sanders and a source close to Trump Jr. denied either saw the video.
Bloomberg technology reporter William Turton surfaced a video matching the description from the Times on YouTube. The video appears to have been uploaded by YouTube account TheGeekzTeam in July 2018, and the account has posted other videos doctored to give the impression that Trump is violently killing his enemies. Although Turton said he has not yet been able to confirm the YouTube video was the same one played at the conference, the details in the video as described by the Times line up, although portions like the Barack Obama interview at the end of the video were not reported to have been shown.
In the video, a man with a likeness of Trump’s head superimposed on his body goes into a building labeled the “Church of Fake News,” where people are labeled with logos of major news outlets including Vox, Politico, the Washington Post, HuffPost, ABC, and NBC covering their heads. Trump then opens fire, killing numerous media outlets including Vox, Politico, and NPR, in addition to activist group Black Lives Matter. The fake Trump begins his rampage using a gun but later switches to a wooden stake and a knife. Also in the video are Hillary Clinton, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, John McCain, and Rosie O’Donnell — all of them are slaughtered by the killer Trump. The mass murder ends with the president driving a wooden stake into the head of a person depicted as the church’s minister with a CNN logo covering their face, as DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” plays in the background.
The footage, the Times said, was taken and doctored from a church massacre scene in the dark comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Trump’s presidency has been marked by criticism of the news media, and recently he has even been vocally critical of his beloved Fox News. The president himself has shared a video depicting him as violent toward the media, tweeting a doctored video of him body-slamming a man with a CNN logo over his head in 2017. Trump has also turned his ire toward reporters during his political rallies, spurring his supporters to taunt and threaten members of the media covering him.
#FraudNewsCNN #FNN pic.twitter.com/WYUnHjjUjg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2017
When we are barely a year out from the tragic Capital Gazette shootings in Maryland that killed five of the newspaper’s staff, not to mention other recent mass shootings in churches, synagogues, and mosques, videos like this are particularly dangerous, especially when they are broadcast at events even loosely affiliated with the president and on property he owns.