CNN political commentator Van Jones: “This was a whitelash." (Van Jones coined the term, a shortened version of “white backlash,” to describe Trump's victory)
Then another text card appears, saying:
“SO THEY STARTED A WAR.”
The opening 13 seconds — reminiscent of the beginning of a trailer for an apocalyptic war film — are a buildup for what the video's protagonist says next:
“Already, the forces that conspired to keep Donald Trump out of the White House are coming together to sabotage his administration,” declares Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association.
The ad, released before the start of the Conservative Political Action Conference, not only solidifies the NRA's role as a Trump ally; it also positions LaPierre — and his organization — as the leaders of a movement to resist the resistance against Trump.
NRATV shared the video on Twitter using the hashtag #counterresistance.
Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's managing director for public affairs, hasn't responded to a call from The Washington Post.
But the video's message is clear: Those who lost couldn't accept the result of the election, so they began a bitter and violent resistance manifested in destructive riots.
And the NRA, which spent more than $30 million to help put Trump in the White House, will be right there with the president, leading the effort against his enemies.
The ad uses clips of street protests and flag-burning, footage of people smashing windows, and a video by a Russian government-funded television network of people starting fires — all to portray the other side as initiators of a violent war against the president.
Another clip shows the mentally disabled white teenager who was beaten and tortured by four young African American adults. The suspects can be heard shouting expletives about white people and Trump in a video of the attack that was broadcast live on Facebook.
The rest of the ad shows other prominent figures who have spoken openly against Trump:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) holding a megaphone; actress Ashley Judd saying “I'm not nasty” at the Women's March on Washington; and Madonna talking about her thoughts of “blowing up the White House." (The singer later clarified her comment, saying she was speaking metaphorically.)
As they speak, the words “agitation,” “riots,” “insurrection” and “anarchy” flash on the screen — followed by another text card: “We fight back.”
“Donald Trump will need every ounce of energy we can muster and he has no more powerful ally than the NRA,” LaPierre says.
Then comes a plug of LaPierre's scheduled speech at CPAC on Friday.
The NRA endorsed Trump in May, although Trump had not always been a fierce pro-gun advocate.
In December 2012, about 2½ years before he announced his candidacy for president, Trump wrote a tweet praising President Barack Obama's appeal for stronger gun control following the mass shooting that killed 28 people -- most of them children -- at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
In his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” Trump wrote: “Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.”
He further wrote: “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today's Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72 hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”
Trump has since changed his position.
When asked during a March 2016 debate about his view on a ban on assault weapons, he said: “I don't support it anymore.”
As a candidate, Trump championed the Second Amendment, labeling Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton as “the most anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment candidate to ever run for office” and describing her as someone who would “disarm vulnerable Americans in high-crime neighborhoods.”
In an article about the NRA video, the Trace, a nonprofit news site funded by Everytown for Gun Safety and other gun-control advocates, notes that the NRA views Trump's presidency as an opportunity to be aggressive.
For instance, the group is pushing for two controversial initiatives: expanding concealed carry laws and easing silencer restrictions, the Wall Street Journal reported in November.
The Trace further notes:
The “counter resistance” banner is an update to a narrative the NRA has deployed for decades, as the gun rights group has sought to cast itself as a leader not just on Second Amendment issues, but more broadly as a defender of American freedom. What is different now is how closely the NRA's broader agenda, which leans heavily on fears of violent crime, illegal immigration and terrorism, aligns with that of the current administration.Never before in the NRA's history has the group so openly boasted about its close relationship with a president, and never before has a president been so eager to openly embrace his close relationship with the NRA. Even President George W. Bush, a staunch defender of gun rights, sought to put distance between himself and the organization after an executive was caught on tape bragging about exceptionally close ties to the administration.
And there's another friend of the gun industry's in the Trump family: the president's oldest son.
Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter, is backing a legislation that would make silencers easier to buy, The Washington Post's Michael S. Rosenwald reported last month.
The bill stalled in Congress last year.
Jenna Johnson contributed to this post.