World

Trump 2020 campaign disavows parody media massacre video

US President Donald Trump speaks at the Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on 12 October, 2019 in Washington, DC Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption US President Donald Trump has repeatedly hit out at what he calls the “fake news media” at rallies and on Twitter

Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign has disavowed a parody video showing the US president massacring media outlets and political rivals.

The video was on display at a conference organised by American Priority, a pro-Trump group.

Organisers of the event at a Trump resort in Miami, Florida, said the video was part of a “meme exhibition”.

CNN had called on the Trump campaign to denounce the video “immediately in the strongest possible terms”.

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, told the BBC: “That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence.”

What is in the video?

Mr Trump’s head is superimposed on the body of a man who goes on a killing rampage inside “the Church of Fake News”.

The heads of the people he kills have been replaced with the logos of media organisations, including BBC News, CNN and the Washington Post, and political opponents such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The New York Times says the video appears to be a doctored version of scenes from 2014 movie “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, starring Colin Firth.

American Priority also sought to disassociate itself with the video, saying it was “not approved, seen, or sanctioned” by event organisers.

The video, the political action group added, was shown in a “side room” at the event and was only brought to the attention of organisers by the New York Times.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, and former White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, were scheduled to speak at the event, according to the New York Times.

“I wasn’t aware of any video, nor do I support violence of any kind against anyone,” Ms Sanders told the paper.

“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,” CNN said in a statement on Sunday. “The images depicted are vile and horrific.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionWatch the moment a Trump supporter shoves a BBC cameraman at a rally in El Paso

During his 2016 presidential campaign, and as president, Mr Trump has repeatedly lashed out at what he calls the “fake news media”, describing media outlets as “enemies of the people”.

In recent weeks, Mr Trump ramped up his attacks on his political rivals and media organisations as an impeachment inquiry into his presidency escalated.

A similar parody video was shared on Mr Trump’s Twitter page in 2017.

The clip was an altered version of Mr Trump’s appearance at a WWE wrestling event in 2007, in which he “attacked” franchise owner Vince McMahon. In the video, a CNN logo appeared in place of Mr McMahon’s head.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The 2017 video was originally submitted to a pro-Trump forum on the social media site Reddit

US media outlets, led by CNN, accused the president of inciting violence against the media.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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