Many were simply dumbfounded — and sassy. TV personality Andy Cohen bashed Trump in a tweet, saying simply: “Sweetie u cray.”
Chelsea Clinton pointed out the disturbing timing of the video over the July 4th weekend.
Others expressed shock and outrage that America’s commander in chief appeared to incite violence against the press.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) called the president’s “promoting violence against the press... a disgrace, a threat to the presidency and our democracy.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) called the video a “deranged fantasy” that “should be rejected by all Americans.”
When asked if the president’s tweet violated Twitter’s standards against harassment or inciting violence, a Twitter spokeswoman told HuffPost: “We don’t comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons.”
The tweet was retweeted on the official POTUS Twitter page, which is passed on to all presidents and archived. White House press secretary Sean Spicer has also described Trump’s tweets on his own account as “official statements by the president,” which are hardly private.
Twitter did not respond to a question asking if and how many people have complained about the tweet or felt threatened by it. The company also did not respond to a question about how Twitter would treat a video showing a man being pummeled whose head was replaced with the words “president” or “White House.”
A Twitter spokesman, however, told CNN that Trump’s tweet did not violate its rules regarding targeted harassment or incitement to violence.
Republican political operative Jack Posobiec tweeted a photo of an imagined staffer at the Republican National Committee (actually actor Jim Parsons in a scene from “The Big Bang Theory”) hyperventilating after the CNN video was posted by Trump. (The video appears to be a repurposed clip of Trump, then a reality TV star, appearing to beat up WWE owner Vince McMahon in 2007.)
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) characterized the video as another Trump “Twitter tantrum.”
But most attacks came from Democrats, while Republicans were notably silent.
Author J.K. Rowling quoted George Washington as she cautioned restraint in responding.
But several celebrity comments were pithier.
And then there was this tweet from attorney and University of New Hampshire law professor Seth Abramson: