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Trump supporters' video carries stomach-turning message

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CNN and other reporters have called on President Trump to denounce a fake video of him shooting members of the news media. According to The New York Times, the clip appears to be edited from a church massacre scene in the 2014 movie "Kingsman: The Secret Service."

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 3:20 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 3:20 PM

It took hours for the White House to issue a condemnation of the disgusting video obtained by the New York Times that depicts President Trump violently slaughtering journalists and political opponents (including former President Obama and sitting members of Congress). The footage, created from a grisly scene in a Hollywood movie, was shown at a meeting of the pro-Trump political group, American Priority, at the Trump Doral resort.

If history is any guide, Trump's supporters will concoct excuses or even pass the video off as a joke.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Trump had not yet watched the video, and added that "based on everything [Trump] has heard, he strongly condemns this video." Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for Trump's campaign, told the Times "That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence."

But the damage is already done: the Trump movement has pushed America another step closer to the dangerous idea that violence is part of politics as usual.

From the early days of Trump's campaign for President, the candidate and his followers have openly encouraged political violence. In some cases, his supporters have committed it. In November of 2015, activist named Mercutio Southall was cursed, punched and beaten at a Trump rally as the candidate shouted, "Get him the hell out of here!"

The next day he affirmed the violence, saying "maybe he should have been roughed up." In another case, as followers accosted a protester, Trump said: "Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court, don't worry about it."

It happened so frequently that Mashable created a March 2016 video compilation of Trump's repeated statements at rallies, urging the crowds to commit violence. Around the same time, Trump's thuggish campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery for grabbing a reporter as she attempted to ask Trump a question (authorities confirmed that the mauling took place, but dropped the charges after concluding the conduct was not criminal).

As countless editorial boards, civic leaders and elected officials warned, Trump's constant calls for violence stirred followers to action. In 2018, one disturbed supporter, Cesar Sayoc, mailed more than a dozen inoperative pipe bombs to media outlets (including CNN), Democratic politicians and other prominent Democrat that Trump has condemned. Sayoc described the havoc and rhetoric of Trump rallies as a "new found drug." (He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.) "These terrorizing acts are despicable and have no place in our country," Trump said at the time.

And now, we see a video graphically depicting a character with Trump's face superimposed on it, shooting, stabbing, clubbing and impaling elected officials, news organizations, President Obama and a civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter. While the video has been online for at least a year, its use at a political gathering of the President's supporters-- held at the President's resort--represents a further descent into the muck.

Trump has never made a secret of his feelings about inciting violence. His supporters have taken the cue and run with it. For the rest of us, the question is what we plan to do about it.

At a minimum, every leader with a platform should quickly, publicly and emphatically condemn the march toward political violence that Trump has encouraged for years now. And Congress should consider holding hearings to compile the abundant evidence of Trump's pro-violence statements and draft them as an article of impeachment.

It's the best way to make clear to future candidates that rowdy incitement to violence isn't a joke or politics as usual, but akin to dropping lit matches in a room full of dynamite -- a level of callous irresponsibility that cannot be tolerated or dismissed as a joke.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 327477

Reported Deaths: 3751
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin688981130
Ramsey28948512
Anoka23196232
Dakota23102194
Washington14590120
Stearns14314121
St. Louis9280117
Scott881056
Wright827145
Olmsted702536
Sherburne608243
Clay521359
Carver501315
Kandiyohi432024
Rice427738
Blue Earth426617
Crow Wing376237
Otter Tail332725
Chisago326914
Benton317253
Nobles313731
Winona292031
Douglas278439
Mower270623
Polk266226
Morrison241730
Lyon228712
Beltrami227518
McLeod226517
Becker217619
Goodhue216930
Steele20568
Itasca202223
Isanti199517
Carlton198417
Todd187414
Nicollet169426
Mille Lacs161231
Freeborn15966
Le Sueur153511
Brown151015
Cass149910
Pine14298
Waseca141811
Meeker139011
Roseau12475
Martin121221
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Wabasha11041
Redwood101720
Chippewa9508
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Dodge9110
Watonwan8824
Wadena8537
Sibley8194
Rock8019
Aitkin79530
Houston7694
Fillmore7480
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Kanabec67714
Yellow Medicine67612
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Murray6064
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Pope5641
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Jackson5181
Lake4437
Wilkin4115
Koochiching4106
Lac qui Parle3984
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Grant2956
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Cook790

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 234817

Reported Deaths: 2486
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk34631341
Linn14655168
Scott1166189
Black Hawk11194139
Woodbury10622133
Johnson979337
Dubuque941594
Story698323
Pottawattamie664871
Dallas657159
Sioux380529
Webster371639
Cerro Gordo367649
Marshall357647
Clinton341444
Buena Vista313114
Des Moines298621
Muscatine298271
Warren291714
Plymouth284444
Wapello263772
Jones235917
Jasper229746
Lee225617
Marion210222
Carroll203624
Bremer200212
Henry19137
Crawford181016
Benton174023
Tama156641
Washington149715
Jackson148814
Delaware147021
Dickinson143811
Boone142412
Mahaska133328
Wright13007
Clay12254
Buchanan122010
Hardin121011
Hamilton117713
Page11664
Kossuth11608
Clayton11399
Cedar112513
Harrison110832
Floyd110219
Calhoun10907
Fayette108712
Mills10858
Lyon10619
Butler10576
Winneshiek102713
Poweshiek102013
Iowa100213
Winnebago94825
Cherokee9474
Chickasaw9084
Hancock9008
Sac8978
Louisa89321
Grundy88911
Allamakee87013
Mitchell8369
Cass83524
Union8166
Appanoose80713
Humboldt8015
Shelby79511
Emmet78626
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Franklin76021
Jefferson7512
Madison7174
Unassigned7050
Palo Alto6734
Keokuk6477
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Howard5809
Osceola5411
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