Set to “Freebird” by Lynard Skynard, the President of the United States has his head superimposed over that of Harry Hart, as portrayed by Collin Firth in 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, during the bloody church shooting scene from the movie. Throughout the course of its nearly 4 minute runtime, Mr. Trump is seen attacking and or murdering political opponents and media outlets such as Black Lives Matter, Mitt Romney, CNN, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, BBC News, Adam Schiff and others.
“The Trumpsman (The Kingsman Parody),” was created by TheGeeksTeam, a YouTube channel dedicated “pissing off liberals,” in July of 2018, but has only recently gained viral popularity as it was shown at a the Trump National Doral Miami resort this weekend, which was hosting the conservative American Priority Conference, which was held from 10-12 October. Organizers of the conference have said they were “looking into” how the video ended up being shown at their event.
Several groups, to include the White House Correspondents’ Association and CNN have released statements condemning the video and are calling for the President to do so as well.
WHCA Statement on video depicting President Trump murdering journalists. pic.twitter.com/52lHFaQjU2
— WHCA (@whca) October 14, 2019
Cindy McCain, widow of Senator John McCain voiced her support for the WHCA statement.
Reports describing a violent video played at a Trump Campaign event in which images of reporters & @JohnMcCain are being slain by Pres Trump violate every norm our society expects from its leaders& the institutions that bare their names. I stand w/ @whca in registering my outrage
— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) October 14, 2019
CNN had this to say:
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) October 14, 2019
Through his Press Secretary, Trump has condemned the video, though he has not seen it.
— Kayleigh McEnany 45 Archived (@PressSec45) October 14, 2019
In my opinion, this supposed condemnation is weak, particularly when compared to how strongly Trump personally comes out against the media. A statement from a staffer doesn’t really do the trick. Trump’s own increasingly hostile rhetoric towards the media and those that disagree with his positions serves as as a green light for such creations and anything less than his personal statement will fall on deaf ears.
A video using Trump’s face and shown at a Trump resort, played by a pro-Trump PAC depicted him murdering the press and political opponents. His rebuke of this video must be unequivocal, unlike that of the violence that took place in Charlottesville, VA in 2016 when Heather Heyer was murdered. In response to that crime and rally, wherein tiki torch carrying white men were chanting “Jews will not replace us,” the President said there were “very fine people” on both sides.
A limp response from this White House only comes off as tacit approval for such violence. We’ve already seen how Trump’s rhetoric demonizing the media and minorities has inspired violence. At the beginning of this year, Cesar Sayoc was convicted of mailing pipe bombs to several democrats, some of whom were depicted in the Kingsman parody. Further, a manifesto issued by Patrick Crusius, the El Paso shooter from earlier this year, utilized similar language as Trump in referencing “send them back” and a “hispanic invasion.”
It’s unlikely that this statement from the President, through his Press Secretary is likely to have any impact on those who think they’re championing his causes.
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