Illinois GOP Calls Mock Assassination of Donald Trump at Democratic Fundraiser 'Inexcusable'

Illinois state Senator Martin Sandoval apologized for a mock assassination of President Donald Trump that occurred last week at a fundraising event. But critics say his words aren't enough.

An unnamed attendee at a August 16 fundraiser for Sandoval posted photos of a man pointing a fake gun at someone wearing a Trump mask and traditional Mexican clothing. Sandoval can be seen in other pictures with the man holding the fake gun, but it's not clear if he knew about the staged assassination while it was happening.

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.

— Mark Maxwell (@MarkMaxwellTV) August 17, 2019

"The incident that took place is unacceptable," Sandoval told WCIA. in an email. "I don't condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event."

Sandoval is the chair of the State Transportation Committee and played an important role in pushing for a gas tax increase to fund the "Rebuild Illinois" plan.

The incident took place at a $250-ticket fundraising event at Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield, a suburb of Chicago.

trump mark sandoval
WCIA's Mark Maxwell posted photos of what appeared to be someone turning a gun on a person in a Trump mask. . Mark Maxwell @ Twitter

Both Democrat and Republican politicians in the state condemned the incident.

"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," Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Illinois, told WCIA the mass shootings in El Paso and Gilroy "have demonstrated how hate-filled political rhetoric can fuel violence,"

"These images are unacceptable and dangerous. The place to make our voices heard against Trump is at the ballot box."

Sate Republicans were less diplomatic in their condemnation: Illinois Republican Party Chair Tim Schneider called the mock execution "inexcusable."

"The apology from Sen. Sandoval for the detestable pictures from his event depicting an assassination of President Trump is too little, too late," he said in a statement. "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. 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."

In a tweet, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway called for Democrats to be asked if they supported or disavowed the mock assassination.

Every Democrat should be asked if they support or disavow this.

— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) August 19, 2019