An Illinois Democratic state senator is apologizing after photos of a mock assassination of President Donald Trump from his fundraiser came to light over the weekend.
Pictures from state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s (D-Ill.) fundraising event were posted on Facebook by a fundraiser attendee, which depicts a man pointing a fake gun at someone dressed as the president.
Sandoval is not present in the pictures with the mock assassination but is seen posing with the man who held the fake gun in subsequent pictures.
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
The event took place outside of Chicago in Winfield, Illinois, and donors paid at the least $250 to attend the event. It is not clear if Sandoval knew about the mock Trump attack.
The Illinois state senator sent out an email apologizing for the fake assassination and called the act “unacceptable.”
“The incident that took place is unacceptable,” Sandoval said. “I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”
The photos of the fake assassination brought bipartisan condemnation from a slew of people, including Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.
The Illinois governor blasted the photos as “lack[ing] the civility our politics demands.”
“As our nation grapples with the epidemic of gun violence, purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong,” Pritzker said. “I condemn actions like the ones displayed in the pictures because they lack the civility our politics demands.”
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway demanded that each Democrat be asked if “they support or disavow this,” in a tweet on Sunday night.
“Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this,” tweeted Conway.
Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this. https://t.co/7nRXtzIXqz
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) August 19, 2019
Additionally, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider said through a spokesperson that Sandoval’s apology was “too little, too late” and that while most people would condemn this kind of picture, a “mentally unstable individual” might find it as “inspiration” to hurt the president.
“The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an assassination of President Trump is too little, too late,” Schneider said. “Dangerous imagery like this will be condemned and seen as inappropriate by people of sound mind; however, a mentally unstable individual who wants to harm President Trump might find them as an inspiration.”
Sandoval sits as the Illinois Senate Transportation Committee chairman and has been in office since 2003.