White House calls Johnny Depp’s remark about assassination ‘sad’

The White House responded Friday to actor Johnny Depp’s comments alluding to assassinating President Donald Trump, calling his words ‘sad.’

“President Trump has condemned violence in all forms, and it’s sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead,” deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNN. “I hope that some of Mr. Depp’s colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if his comments were directed to a Democrat elected official.”

At the Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom on Thursday, Depp asked an onlooking crowd: “When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?”

The question came after Depp brought up the topic of Trump.

“Can we bring Trump here?” he asked.

The crowd booed and roared, “No!”

“I think he needs help,” Depp said, as the crowd laughed.

“This is going to be in the press, and it will be horrible,” he said, prefacing his question. Then he paused briefly and said, “But I like that you’re all a part of it.”

The rhetorical query appeared to be a reference to John Wilkes Booth, the actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

After posing the question, Depp said, “I want to clarify. I’m not an actor.”

The crowd laughed.

“I lie for a living,” he said.

The Secret Service is aware of Depp’s comment, Secret Service staff assistant Shawn Holtzclaw told CNN.

The Secret Service also said in a statement,”For security reasons, we cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means and methods of how we perform our protective responsibilities.”

The actor apologized for his remarks Friday in a statement to People magazine.

“I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump,” Depp said. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.”

Depp’s publicist did not return a request for comment for this story.

Last year, Depp played Trump in a nearly hour-long spoof called, “Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie.”

Sanders’ statement comes the same day Al Baldasaro, an informal Trump campaign adviser who was investigated by the Secret Service for saying Hillary Clinton should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason” over her handling of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, attended Trump’s signing of a bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Asked about the attendance of Baldasaro, who is a New Hampshire state lawmaker, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said all threats of violence should be condemned.

“I don’t believe — and the President has said this as well — anybody who goes out and tries to highlight those kinds of actions should not be welcome,” Spicer said. “I’m not aware of the comments he made. I don’t think that we should be resorting to that language with respect to anyone in our country.”