Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Update: Al Franken, President Trump respond to Kathy Griffin's beheading photo

President Donald Trump also responded early Wednesday.

The head of Minnesota's Republican Party wants Al Franken to cancel his upcoming book tour appearance with comedian Kathy Griffin.

Why? Because of this:

Yep, that's a bloodied fake President Donald Trump head she's holding. It's for a photo shoot with well-known photographer Tyler Shields – there's a behind-the-scenes video here, during which Griffin says she and Shields "are not afraid to do images that make noise."

"We have to move to Mexico today. Because we're going to go to prison," she says to Shields at one point, jokingly (we think). "Because we're not surviving this, OK?"

Twitter isn't happy, with some people arguing it's too similar an image to beheading videos released by the Islamic State.

Update: Griffin apologizes, and the president responds

Griffin has since deleted some of her tweets defending the photo shoot, and now has this apology video, where she says she "went too far."

She'd previously told New York Magazine writer Yashar Aki it's just art that isn't meant to be taken literally, and she does not condone any type of violence. She also said the inspiration was Trump's comment during the campaign about Megyn Kelly, saying there was "blood coming out of [Kelly's] eyes. ... Blood coming out of her wherever."

And Trump himself responded early Wednesday, writing:

Will Franken still appear with Griffin at an event?

Sen. Franken is going to be at a Beverly Hills theater on July 7 as part of his book tour, with the comedian Griffin scheduled to appear at the event.

Jennifer Carnahan, the new head of the Minnesota Republican Party, argues the senator shouldn't appear with Griffin because of this beheaded Trump photo.

Franken's office told GoMN in a statement: "Sen. Franken thinks Kathy Griffin is a talented comedian and respects her right to free speech, but believes this image was inappropriate and not the kind of thing that should be part of our national discourse."

The statement made no mention of cancelling the senator's appearance with Griffin.

Franken and Griffin have some sort of relationship. Vanity Fair reported she hosted a fundraiser for Franken in spring of 2016, just days before Garry Shandling died. She hosted another fundraiser for Democratic senators that Franken appeared at later that year.

Carnahan was quick to call out her own party earlier this year. After the 7th Congressional District Republican Party posted an image of Kith Ellison turkey hunting – in which he was called "anti-white" and described as a "goat humper" – Carnahan called for the immediate resignation of whoever published it. She called it "repugnant hate speech."

Next Up

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Justin Jefferson

Vikings-49ers: 5 things you can count on

Sunday's matchup is a pivotal game in the NFC playoff picture.

Gopher Football

Watch: Gophers troll Badgers with 'Jump Around' after Saturday's win

First they took Paul Bunyan's Axe. Then they took their tradition.

Brandon Richart, missing person

Search underway for missing man in Anoka area

Brandon Richart was last seen Nov. 17.

U.S. Bank Stadium

5 teams win first state championships at Prep Bowl

A pair of records fell as the Prep Bowl lived up to the hype.

Related

Al Franken decides it's not a great idea to appear with Kathy Griffin

This comes from that whole fake-severed-Donald-Trump-head photo shoot Griffin did.

'It's the most embarrassing hearing I've ever attended': Al Franken takes on Betsy DeVos

Al Franken – not a fan of President Trump's pick for education secretary.

What Minnesota lawmakers thought of President Trump's address

What Minnesota's U.S. representatives and senators had to say about the president's speech.

Update: Woman groped by Al Franken accepts his apology

Franken called for an ethics investigation into himself.

Sen. Al Franken keeps a low public profile as fallout from groping photo continues

Here's a look at some of the big updates from the past couple days.

David Letterman: Al Franken is 'one of the smartest people I’ve ever met'

Letterman also said Franken is the "only person I can trust anymore."

New Al Franken allegation: Woman says the senator grabbed her butt during State Fair photo

She told CNN it happened during a photo at the Minnesota State Fair.

Here comes the 'Al Franken 2020' narrative

Al Franken – 2020 presidential nominee?