Novelist Stephen King questioned President Donald Trump's mental well-being after he tweeted a doctored animated image of Trump striking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a golf ball. King has been a vocal critic of Trump in the past, frequently arguing that the president is not mentally fit for the Oval Office.
On Sept. 17, Trump stoked controversy when he retweeted a GIF that spliced footage of the president golfing and an animated golf ball striking Clinton in the back, prompting her to fall while boarding an aircraft, CNN reports.
King took to social media to comment on the GIF, saying that Trump's retweeting of it indicated a dark state of mind.
"Trump thinks hitting a woman with a golf ball and knocking her down is funny," King tweeted out. "Myself, I think it indicates a severely f**ked-up mind."
Former Trump campaign strategist David Urban defended the president's tweet: "Retweets don't equal endorsements."
Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro responded to King's tweet by citing a controversial passage from one of his most popular novels.
"Dude, at the end of 'It' you have a bunch of 11-year-old boys have sex with one 11-year-old girl," Shapiro tweeted.
The passage that Shapiro cited was omitted from the recent movie adaptation of King's "It." In November 2013, King addressed the controversy surrounding the literary sex scene.
"I wasn't really thinking of the sexual aspect of it ... Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues," King wrote, according to Vulture.
King has previously criticized Trump on social media, often voicing concerns about the president's mental fitness, The Hill reports.
"Trump's tweets in his first hundred days draw a pretty clear portrait: he's an almost textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder," King tweeted out on May 3.
The novelist followed up by tweeting: "That this guy has his finger on the nuclear trigger is worse than any horror story I ever wrote."
On June 2016, King stated during an interview that he believed Trump's popularity was fueled by misogyny and racism.
"I think that he's sort of the last stand of a sort of American male who feels like women have gotten out of their place and they're letting in all these people that have the wrong skin colors," King told Rolling Stone. "He speaks to those people. Trump is extremely popular because people would like to have a world where you just didn't question that the white American was at the top of the pecking order."