SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A Democratic state senator is apologizing for a mock assassination of Republican President Donald Trump staged at a weekend fundraiser.
WCIA-TV in Champaign reports that the incident occurred Friday night at Chicago Sen. Martin Sandoval’s golf outing in the Chicago suburb of Winfield. A man carrying what looks like a fake assault-style rifle points it at someone wearing a Trump mask. A woman who attended posted the photos to social media.
Now @DemsforIllinois responds: “The tragedies 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.” https://t.co/HLKDJAdHX8
— Mark Maxwell (@MarkMaxwellTV) August 18, 2019
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said “purposely pointing a fake gun at anyone is insensitive and wrong,” particularly after recent shootings in Texas and Ohio.
Tim Schneider is chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. He says Sandoval’s apology is “too little, too late.” He also said it was staged event.
“We are looking to find out who [is in the photo], and if it’s somebody on his staff they need to resign” Schneider said.
Sandoval did not answer questions on camera but issued a statement:
“I had absolutely no knowledge that this regrettable exchange between one of my 1,200 guests and a third-party vendor even took place.
Those individuals involved exhibited extremely poor judgement.
This vendor was hired to provide music and entertainment. This offensive use of a beverage dispenser was in no way part of any scheduled program.
I had no knowledge of it and neither did my staff.”