Trump invoked his youngest son, Barron, as he criticized Griffin as “sick” for the image, which has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle — and even sparked an apology from Griffin.
“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” the president tweeted Wednesday morning. “My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”
Griffin, a vocal Trump opponent, acknowledged on Tuesday evening that she “crossed the line” with the image, taken by photographer Tyler Shields.
“I’m a comic. I crossed the line, I moved the line and then I crossed the line,” the 56-year-old said in a video posted on Twitter. “I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people, it wasn’t funny.”
Griffin added that she was taking down the photo and planned on asking Shields to do the same.
Anderson Cooper, Griffin’s New Year’s Eve co-star on CNN, tweeted his disapproval of the photo. “For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in,” he wrote. “It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
“This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president,” the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton tweeted.
The president’s son called it “disgusting” in a tweet: “Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?”
Griffin and photographer Tyler Shields teamed up to create a “timely image” of Trump’s presidency and American politics, according to Shields, who spoke with Entertainment Weekly.
“I think to [Griffin], it’s absolutely about [Trump]. I can’t speak for her, obviously,” Shields explained what the comedian wanted to say with the photo. “I might not agree with him, she definitely doesn’t agree with him, but I’ll defend my right to be able to say whatever I want until I die.”