Donald Trump’s itchy Twitter finger has plunged the President into controversy again after he shared a clip depicting himself striking former opponent Hillary Clinton with a golf ball.
In a morning barrage of tweets, Mr Trump endorsed a Republican gubernatorial candidate and seemingly mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - calling him “Rocket Man” - before beginning to retweet a series of supportive messages and memes.
One tweet opened with the phrase “Donald Trump’s amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary” along with a video of a man in a red hat driving a golf ball that then strikes and knocks down a blond woman as she boards an airplane - implying that the video showed the President assaulting Ms Clinton, the former Democratic nominee whom Mr Trump defeated for the presidency.
The message sparked a backlash on social media, with detractors assailing Mr Trump for inciting violence against a political rival. Asked during an appearance on ABC’s This Week whether the tweet made him doubt the sincerity of Mr Trump’s outreach to Democrats, Rep. Adam Schiff said it was “distressing” to have a President who “will tweet and re-tweet things as juvenile as that”.
“It doesn't help, I think, in terms of his stature. It doesn't help in terms of the stature of our whole country”, said Mr Schiff, a Democrat from California.
It is not the first time Mr Trump has been accused of inappropriate. The President repeatedly threatened to jail Ms Clinton during his campaign, encouraging chants of “lock her up”, and vowed during a presidential debate to appoint a special prosecutor to pursue Ms Clinton - an extraordinary promise of political retribution.
Rebukes also rained down on Mr Trump earlier this year when he shared and then deleted an image of a train emblazoned with the word “Trump” striking a cartoon figure with the CNN logo for a head. Mr Trump has poured animosity on the media - and CNN in particular - at rallies and on Twitter, calling journalists terrible people and liars.
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