US Sen. Martin Sandoval has issued an apology for an incident that occurred at his political fundraiser event in west suburban Winfield, CBS affiliate WCIA-TV reported.
The politician came under fire after pictures were posted online showing his supporters performing a mock assassination of President Donald Trump.
The Democratic senator from Illinois issued an apologetic statement:
“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".
A woman at the fundraiser event had posted the photos to her Facebook page, tagging Sandoval in them.
They show supporters of Sen. Martin Sandoval, who represents Illinois’ 11th District and parts of Chicago pointing a fake machine gun at a man wearing a Trump mask and Mexican costume.
One person in the photos seemingly simulates being shot as he grabs his chest and leans back, while in another Sandoval can be seen standing next to the person holding the fake gun.
The pictures were quick to spark outrage, as Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker lambasted them in a statement on Saturday night:
“As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely 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", he said.
Some GOP members said the senator’s apology was not enough and those responsible needed to be identified and punished.
“The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an assassination of President Trump is too little, too late", said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider, adding:
“It’s inexcusable for an elected official to allow the promotion of violence in any way. If the individual pictured is a staffer or volunteer, they should be terminated immediately".
One of Donald Trump’s top aides Kellyanne Conway tweeted on Sunday night:
“Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this".
Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this. https://t.co/7nRXtzIXqz— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) August 19, 2019
Many social media users likewise expressed outrage, with Facebook users writing: “Why is this ok?” “I am sickened".
Another Facebook user responded to the incident writing: “The tolerant left".
Another post in response said: “Remember when the rodeo clown was fired for dressing like hussein. He wasn't looking to hurt hussein, just create a laugh. And the libs say we're the violent ones. Sen. Sandoval should resign from his seat".
The Twitter response was also highly charged:
It’s a good time to remember that a rodeo clown lost his job for making fun of Obama— Davey Jones (@titusxpullo) August 18, 2019
Picture the screaming outrage, even today, if a Republican did this faux assassination with Obama as the target...
Where’s is this “tolerance” that they spout off about all the time. All I ever see is divisiveness— Noel (@NoelSully11) August 18, 2019
Whose the side dividing the country with violent rhetoric again?— bruh (@ecksdeeAylmao) August 18, 2019
Dems at it again....hate and threats of violence. Vote all of these dangerous left wing nuts out of office! THIS IS OBAMA'S LEGACY!!!— Judy Van Buskirk (@buskirk_judy) August 18, 2019