Vice President Pence has stayed loyal to Trump, but will it cost him?

First Lady Melania Trump has said that when her husband, Donald, is attacked, he will “punch back 10 times harder.” On Sunday, President Trump put those pugilistic instincts on display for all the world to see, circulating a doctored video clip that showed him physically attacking a crudely rendered stand-in for CNN, then walking away with a grimace of satisfaction.

After a week in which even Republicans were provoked to plead with the president to stop tweeting, the new post on Twitter again struck a nerve, drawing fresh rebukes from critics who called it an incitement to violence and a degradation of the highest office in the land.

Trump’s supporters and surrogates, though, defended the video clip as harmless mockery, denied such postings distracted from his agenda, or cheered the message outright.

Trump had already taken his feud with the news media to new heights last week with a coarse personal attack on the appearance and intellect of cable television host Mika Brzezinski, accompanied by slurs against her co-host and fiancé Joe Scarborough, that sparked the most recent uproar against the president for his online musings.

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