An internet meme that depicts Donald Trump shooting and stabbing media characters and political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters, the New York Times reported Sunday.
In the clip, the US president’s head is superimposed on a man opening fire in the “Church of Fake News” at people whose faces have been replaced with the logos of outlets including CNN, the Washington Post and NBC TV.
As the rampage continues, the Trump character fends off worshippers, strikes late senator John McCain in the back of the neck and torches the head of Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential rival.
He throws Republican senator Mitt Romney to the ground and strikes former president Barack Obama in the back and slams him against a wall.
The organizer of last week’s “American Priority” event, which was held at Trump’s resort in Miami, said the clip was part of a “meme exhibit.”
“American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech,” Alex Phillips told the Times.
Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Trump’s 2020 election campaign, told the Times that the “video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence.”
Media organizations have come under regular verbal attack from Trump and his supporters.
At rallies, the US president repeatedly encourages the crowd to boo and heckle journalists covering the event, calling them “fake news” and “enemy of the people.”