- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2019

An Illinois state lawmaker apologized Sunday after photos from one of his political fundraisers that surfaced on social media showed a mock assassination of President Trump.

A photo taken at the Klein Creek Golf Club in Winfield during a fundraiser for Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval showed a person pointing what appeared to be a fake firearm at another person wearing a Trump mask. The photo was first posted on Facebook by a woman who attended the event, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Other photos were posted that showed Mr. Sandoval posing with the man who held the fake weapon, but it remains unclear whether the lawmaker was aware of the incident at the time.

“The incident that took place is unacceptable,” Mr. Sandoval said in a statement, the CBS affiliate reported. “I don’t condone violence toward the President or anyone else. I apologize that something like this happened at my event.”

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider said Mr. Sandoval’s apology was “too little, too late” and that the people in the photo should be identified and fired if they’re found to be affiliated with Mr. Sandoval.

“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,” Mr. Schneider’s spokesman said. “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.”

Kellyanne Conway, a top aide to Mr. Trump, slammed the image in a tweet Sunday.

The image also drew backlash from fellow Democrats, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who called it “insensitive and wrong,” and Maura Possley, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Illinois, who called it “unacceptable and dangerous” in light of the recent mass shootings.

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