Donald Trump Jr. connected the shooting of Republican house whip Steve Scalise to a New York Play featuring the assassination of a Trump lookalike.
"Events like today are EXACTLY why we took issue with NY elites glorifying the assassination of our President," reads the tweet by political commentator Harlan Z. Hill that Trump Jr. retweeted, reports CNN Wire.
Hill's comments came shortly after a Virginia shooting during a baseball practice, in which Scalise, a congressional staffer, and police officers working for congress were shot, CNN reports.
Trump Jr. agreed with Hills' remarks while re-sharing the post with his followers, adding only a single word: "This."
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The Public Theater in New York City’s contemporary version of "Julius Caesar" sparked controversy after it featured a Trump lookalike actor who played the lead role.
In the play, Caesar is assassinated, while Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, spoke in a Slavic accent similar to first lady Melania Trump's.
"Serious question, when does ‘art’ become political speech & does that change things?" tweeted Trump Jr. in response to conservative backlash.
However, the theater defended its play, saying that it "in no way advocates violence towards anyone."
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"Shakespeare’s play, and our production, make the opposite point: those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic means pay a terrible price and destroy the very thing they are fighting to save," they added.
Their statement continued:
The Public Theater stands completely behind our production of Julius Caesar. We understand and respect the right of our sponsors and supporters to allocate their funding in line with their own values. We recognize that our interpretation of the play has provoked heated discussion; audiences, sponsors and supporters have expressed varying viewpoints and opinions. Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.
Many agreed with the the theater and rushed to its defense.
Some accused Trump Jr. and conservatives of hypocrisy, pointing out how many lash out against liberals for allegedly restricting free speech, yet seem to be advocating a similar approach here.
Others also paid reference to times President Donald Trump was guilty of inciting violence himself.
"And when your father, who actually incited violence at rallies, sheepishly suggested somebody should shoot [former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton] -- that was ok?" tweeted one person.
Some took the middle ground.
"Trump called for violence at his rallies," tweeted another. "Gabby Giffords was shot in the face. Both sides have jerks. Stop it."
"Can we please mourn that this tragedy occurred together," the same person added.