A screenshot of Snoop Dogg's "Lavender" video where he fires a gun at a clown that looks like President Donald J. Trump.
President Donald J. Trump steadied his Twitter crosshairs on one of Long Beach’s most famous exports Wednesday morning as he unleashed an early morning response to a new Snoop Dogg music video that shows the rapper shooting a clown—one with a striking resemblance to the president—with a fake gun.
Snoop Dogg (real name: Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr.) released the new video for a song titled “Lavender” on March 12. The video has been viewed more than 2.3 million times since Sunday and has drawn condemnation from some of the president’s supporters and at least one United States senator.
"We've had presidents assassinated before in this country, so anything like that is something people should be really careful about," Senator Marco Rubio told TMZ earlier this week. "I think people can disagree on policy, but we've got to be careful about that kind of thing because the wrong person sees that and gets the wrong idea and you could have a real problem."
The video depicts actors donning clown makeup playing out scenes of officer-involved shootings. In one scene (around the 3:05 minute mark) Snoop Dogg can be seen firing a fake gun at the head of a clown that resembles Trump. When the trigger is pulled a flag reading “BANG” comes out.
Earlier in the video the same clown is seen being hit over the head during a press conference being aired on a fictitious news channel. The lower-third identifies the clown as “Ronald Klump.”
Trump fired back in a tweet posted just after 4:00AM this morning condemning the rapper and speculating what the reaction would have been if a similar video had been made featuring his predecessor.
Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
Last year, Forbes listed Snoop Dogg as the 17th highest grossing rapper as he earned $12.5 million, with his net worth projected to be about $130 million. He is eligible to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
The rapper responded Wednesday, throwing a considerable amount of shade posting a selfie with no caption on his Instagram account with numerous music awards in the background.
Threatening the president is a felony but requires several items to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, including the person in question who issued the threat, that the person understood and meant the action as a true threat and that the words or actions taken were done willingly.
The law does distinguish between “true threat” and idle chatter or something done in a joking matter. There’s no indication whether the music video will result in any legal action against the rapper.