US President Donald Trump has triggered a fresh round of controversy after he retweeted Sunday an edited GIF that shows him striking Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ball.
The animated GIF puts together footage of Trump swinging a golf club with a 2011 clip of Clinton falling while boarding a plane. A superimposed golf ball appeared to have knocked Trump's 2016 presidential rival to the ground.
"Donald Trump's amazing golf swing #CrookedHillary," said the caption of the original tweet, which had been shared over 33,000 times and liked more than 74,000 times as of Monday afternoon.
The tweet depicting an attack on Clinton is "appalling and disgusting," Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement on Monday.
The California senator said the messages demean not only Clinton but all women.
"It doesn't help, I think, in terms of his stature," Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California said of the tweet in an ABC interview on Sunday. "It doesn't help in terms of the stature of our whole country."
But during a CNN interview on Monday morning, Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York said that he doesn't believe the GIF actually alludes to violence against the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
"Anything and everything can be taken out of context," he said in defense of Trump.
Neither Clinton nor the White House has so far commented on the video clip. Trump's aides suggested in the past that the president's tweets "speak for themselves."
It is not the first time that the president has triggered controversy by tweeting an edited video clip.
In July, Trump posted a doctored clip that shows him body-slamming an opponent in a business suit, with a CNN logo superimposed at the man's head. The president was then lashed out at over what critics alleged were acts encouraging violence against media.
Last month, Trump shared an image of a train running into a CNN reporter but the post was later removed from the president's account.
The president has recently stepped up criticism of Clinton who returned to the public view to promote her new book about the 2016 presidential campaign.
In the book, Clinton, who won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote last year, attributed her loss to several factors, including alleged Russian interference and her gender, while unleashing sharp criticism against her then-Republican rival.
Last week, Trump tweeted "Crooked Hillary Clinton blames everybody (and every thing) but herself for her election loss."
"She lost the debates and lost her direction!" Trump added.