A violent video of a fake President Donald Trump shooting journalists and Democrats that was played at his resort has been widely condemned by news organisations.
The video was played during a three-day American Priority Conference, hosted at the president’s own Trump National Doral Miami golf resort in Florida, and first leaked to The New York Times.
It shows Mr Trump’s head superimposed on the body of a man wearing a pinstriped suit who opens fire at a “church of fake news” and starts shooting parishioners whose faces are covered with the logos of news organisations.
He is also seen pistol-whipping the late senator John McCain and targeting Black Lives Matter, the BBC, the Guardian, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Barack Obama among others.
The video ends with the fake Trump driving a stake into the head of a person branded with the CNN logo and smiling as he looks around.
It appears to be an edited scene of a church massacre from the 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Since announcing his candidacy in 2016, Mr Trump has frequently labelled the media as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people”.
In 2018 the president’s ongoing feud with CNN‘s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, boiled over with him verbally berating the journalist before the White House ultimately suspended his press access.
The video appears to be created by a pro-Trump YouTube channel that has a long history of creating video mashups in support of the President.
The church shooting video was posted to the channel in July last year.
Speakers at the event where the video was shown included Donald Trump Jr and former White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders – both denied they had seen it.
There were resounding calls to condemn the video, including the event organisers, American Priority, who said over Twitter they had not approved the video and it had been played in a “side room” at the conference.
Jonathan Karl, president of The White House Correspondents’ Association said the video “had no place in our society”, while CNN labelled it “vile and horrific”.
“Sadly, 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 by far and away the worst,” the news organisation said in a tweeted statement.
“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.”
Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy, also took to Twitter to condemn the video as did a widow of one of the five journalists massacred last year at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland.
“My husband was targeted as a journalist and killed doing what he loved — reporting the news and keeping his community informed,” said Andrea Chamblee.
“Videos like the one shown at a political event for President Trump are not only offensive but dangerous to the safety of my husband’s fellow news media colleagues.”
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Monday morning on Twitter that the President had not seen the video but would “shortly.” Grisham said that “based on everything [Trump] has heard, he strongly condemns this video.”