Martin Sandoval, an Illinois Democrat, has apologized after photos emerged that appear to show a mock assassination of Donald Trump at a recent fundraiser, MSN reports.
On Friday, Sandoval, an Illinois State Senator from Chicago, held a fundraiser at a golf club in suburban Chicago. According to Champaign’s WCIA-TV, donors paid $250 per plate to attend the fundraiser.
One of the attendees at the fundraiser was a man wearing a costume meant to evoke a Mexican bandit, and wearing a Donald Trump mask. At some point during the event, another attendee, bearing a fake weapon, pointed it at “Trump,” and a second picture shows “Trump” clutching his chest, as if he’d been shot. Pictures of that scene were later posted on an attendee’s Facebook page.
Whether or not Sandoval knew of the mock assassination is unclear. He did, however, pose with the same man who was photographed holding the gun, although whether that was before or after the mock assassination is unclear.
The photos drew swift condemnation from Illinois Democrats.
Governor J.B. Pritzker, for example, said that the timing couldn’t have been worse, in light of recent acts of gun violence in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso Texas. Further, he said that this type of thing betrays a lack of civility in politics.
“Pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong. I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demands.”
A political fundraiser for @SenatorSandoval simulates an assassination attempt against a mock @realDonaldTrump decked out in Mexican garb. Looks like a man pointed a fake assault weapon at the fake President to pose for a picture. pic.twitter.com/MlT9zjB1mn
— Mark Maxwell (@MarkMaxwellTV) August 17, 2019
Similarly, Maura Possley, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Illinois, said that this is not the right way to express dissatisfaction with Donald Trump.
“The place to make our voices heard against Trump is at the ballot box,” she said.
Sandoval, for his part, has issued an apology
“The incident that took place is unacceptable. I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”
Sandoval is not the first person to have caught heat for being associated with a photo depicting Donald Trump as having been killed. In what may have been one of the more extreme examples, back in 2017, comedian Kathy Griffin posted a photo to Twitter showing her holding a prop that resembled the bloody, decapitated head of Donald Trump. As NPR News would later report, that incident largely derailed her career. She apologized, but then later, as Entertainment Weekly reported, she un-apologized, saying “F**k him.”