At this point, most of us are familiar with President Donald Trump's distaste for the media. However, tensions have escalated recently over a meme-style video that depicted Trump massacring media outlets in the United States. Don't believe me? Check out these tweets about the fake Trump media massacre video and see for yourself.
On Sunday, Oct. 13, The New York Times obtained footage of a fake video depicting a photoshopped President Donald Trump brutally attacking media outlets. Per Gizmodo, the gruesome video was shown at at the American Priority Conference held at his Trump National Doral Miami resort over the weekend of Oct. 12, but was not sponsored or created by the president himself. In a statement to the Times, American Priority said that the organization "rejects all political violence" and they were looking into how the video had been shown. “Content was submitted by third parties and was not associated with or endorsed by the conference in any official capacity,” organizer Alex Phillips told the publication in a statement. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham also took to Twitter on Oct. 14 to address the video, and stated that while Trump hasn't watched the video yet, he "strongly condemns it." Grisham wrote,
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.
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on whether they know who created the video, whether President Trump has seen it yet, and whether he plans to publicly condemn the footage, but did not hear back in time for publication.
The video is clearly a parody video due to the photoshopped imagery and the video background apparently being taken out of a scene from the 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service, per The Times. However, the video is still deeply troubling to say the least. The video reportedly depicts a photoshopped version of Trump entering a church labeled "the Church of Fake News," where the faces of attendees are superimposed with the names of media outlets like NPR, The Washington Post, and NBC. The Trump figure then opens fire and massacres the people/news outlets. Other prominent figures who have publicly criticized or quarreled with the president are also reportedly depicted, including President Barack Obama, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, celebrity Rosie O'Donnell, and even the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
Given America's ongoing problem regarding mass shootings and concerns about the potential influence of the president's rhetoric against minorities and the media, many were immediately disturbed. Following this video being leaked, Twitter immediately started voicing their outrage and concern over the content — many calling it "sick" and "twisted."
While Trump may have had no connection to this meme video, he has his own history regarding videos ostensibly showing violence against the media. On July 2, 2017, Trump took to Twitter to share a photoshopped parody video of him taking down the CNN logo with a wrestling slam, which at the time he was referring to as "Fake News Network." Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the 2017 video, but did not hear back in time for publication. Yes, this was posted by him on his account. The footage was photoshopped from a 2007 video of Trump taking down World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon, but the July 2017 video placed the CNN logo on McMahon's face.
Trump's criticism of the media is reportedly making an impact on journalists within the United States. In August 2018, The Guardian reported that United Nations experts are concerned that Trump's comments about the media could threaten journalists' safety and make them targets of violence. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on speculation that the president's rhetoric could contribute to violence, but did not hear back. "We are especially concerned that these attacks increase the risk of journalists being targeted with violence," experts David Kaye and Edison Lanza told The Guardian.
Trump has labeled numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and others as "fake news media," and even briefly banned CNN reporter Jim Acosta from White House news briefings in November 2018. However, the White House restored Acosta's press credentials to him a few days later after a federal judge ordered the White House to do so.
As of Oct. 14, the president hasn't offered any personal public comment on the video.