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Donald Trump in crosshairs magazine cover slammed by UUP's Mike Nesbitt

By Suzanne Breen

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has slammed a Dublin magazine showing President Donald Trump in a gunman's sight with the caption 'Why Not' on its front cover as "reprehensible".

Mr Nesbitt said that as leader of a party which had several senior politicians murdered during the Troubles, he was astounded at the publication's behaviour.

The February edition of Village Magazine carries a photograph of Donald Trump with crosshairs superimposed on the president's left temple.

Many social media users interpreted it as supporting the assassination of Mr Trump. Village's editor Michael Smith has strongly denied the allegation.

More: Trump crosshairs cover: If it had been Obama, response would have been different

Last night, he told the Belfast Telegraph that the cover was a "provocation to think" and that the magazine was opposed to violence.

But Mr Nesbitt said: "The people responsible for that magazine cover have acted reprehensibly. It is contemptible and we condemn it unequivocally, not least in the name of politicians like Sir Norman Stronge and his son James, Robert Bradford MP and Edgar Graham - all murdered by the IRA."

The UUP leader claimed that in Northern Ireland, the magazine cover would be "illegal as incitement to violence of the worst kind".

He denounced the "pathetic attempts at justification" by the magazine's management. "They would do better to offer a fulsome public apology and hang their heads in shame," he said.

The front cover led to a huge backlash against Village on social media with calls for its management to be reported to police and refused entry into the US.

But Mr Smith insisted that the front cover was being misinterpreted. He said that the words 'why not' beside the provocative image were now a question, but pointed to an explanation of why Mr Trump shouldn't be targeted.

"It's not an incitement to anything. We're politically correct, right-on, the last magazine that would recommend violence or killing anyone," he said.

"Our cover is a provocation to think. Village is a) a magazine of ideas and b) aims to challenge. The methodology of the editorial which backs the cover and conclusion are clear."

The article that accompanies the cover, reads: "So what is to be done? We have one of the worst men in the most powerful position, one where he can do damage to millions, to billions, to the planet."

It adds: "So perhaps the solution is tyrannicide. As he might say himself - 'take him out'." But it concludes that killing the president would be unethical, "even in the case of Trump".

During the Troubles, both unionist and nationalist politicians were murdered here. UUP MP the Rev Robert Bradford was shot dead by the IRA in Belfast in 1981.

Ten months earlier, the Provisionals had killed former Stormont Speaker Sir Norman Stronge and his son at their Co Armagh home. UUP Assembly member Edgar Graham was assassinated in 1983 outside Queen's University Belfast, where he was a lecturer.

Loyalists targeted many Sinn Fein politicians. The party's vice-president Maire Drumm was shot dead when she was recovering from an eye operation in the Mater Hospital in 1976.

Sinn Fein member Sheena Campbell was shot dead in 1992 in Belfast's York Hotel near Queen's University, where she was a law student. The previous year, the UDA killed party councillor Eddie Fullerton at his Buncrana home.

Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017./ AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017./ AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Demonstrators holding placards attend a protest outside Downing Street against U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven Muslim countries on January 30, 2017 in London, England. President Trump signed an executive order on Friday banning immigration to the USA from seven Muslim countries. This led to protests across America and, today, the UK. A British petition asking for the downgrading of Trump's State visit passed one million signatures this morning. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Protesters demonstrate as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lead members of Congress in a protest on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. Members of Congress joined refugees, immigrants and members of the Washington DC community in protesting the Trump administration's recent executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lead members of Congress in singing "This Land is Your Land" during a protest on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. Members of Congress joined refugees, immigrants and members of the Washington DC community in protesting the Trump administration's recent executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Protesters demonstrate as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lead members of Congress during a protest on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. Members of Congress joined refugees, immigrants and members of the Washington DC community in protesting the Trump administration's recent executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
A pro-Trump supporter stands in front of a protest against the immigration ban at the Los Angeles International Airport, California on January 30, 2016. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lead members of Congress during a protest on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court January 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. Members of Congress joined refugees, immigrants and members of the Washington DC community in protesting the Trump administration's recent executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Columbia University students gather to protest President Donald Trump's immigration order Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in New York. President Trump's executive order, signed on Friday, restricts travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
US Senator Cory Booker (2nd R), Democrat of New Jersey, speaks alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (C), Democrat of New York, US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (2nd L) and other members of Congress as demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (R), Democrat of New York, speaks alongside US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (2nd L), and other members of Congress as demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
US Senator Cory Booker (C), Democrat of New Jersey, speaks alongside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (2nd L), Democrat of New York, US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (L) and other members of Congress as demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
People hold up placards to protest against US President Donald Trump's executive order suspending the resettlement of refugees and banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entry into the US, during a rally near the US embassy in Tokyo on January 31, 2017. Some 40 foreigners living in Japan participated in the rally, as a defiant US President Trump struggled to defuse a mounting backlash over his ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
People hold up placards to protest against US President Donald Trump's executive order suspending the resettlement of refugees and banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entry into the US, during a rally near the US embassy in Tokyo on January 31, 2017. Some 40 foreigners living in Japan participated in the rally, as a defiant US President Trump struggled to defuse a mounting backlash over his ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
People hold up placards to protest against US President Donald Trump's executive order suspending the resettlement of refugees and banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entry into the US, during a rally near the US embassy in Tokyo on January 31, 2017. Some 40 foreigners living in Japan participated in the rally, as a defiant US President Trump struggled to defuse a mounting backlash over his ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (2nd R), Democrat of New York, US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (C), speak alongside other members of Congress as demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
People hold up placards to protest against US President Donald Trump's executive order suspending the resettlement of refugees and banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entry into the US, during a rally near the US embassy in Tokyo on January 31, 2017. Some 40 foreigners living in Japan participated in the rally, as a defiant US President Trump struggled to defuse a mounting backlash over his ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
People hold up placards to protest against US President Donald Trump's executive order suspending the resettlement of refugees and banning people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entry into the US, during a rally near the US embassy in Tokyo on January 31, 2017. Some 40 foreigners living in Japan participated in the rally, as a defiant US President Trump struggled to defuse a mounting backlash over his ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / ZACH GIBSONZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / ZACH GIBSONZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / ZACH GIBSONZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against US President Donald Trump and his administration's ban of travelers from 7 countries by Executive Order, during a rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2017. Trump's executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely -- and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. Protests are taking place at airports across the country in opposition to the ban. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
People hold candles during a vigil at Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. People gathered to protest against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. and suspending the nationÄôs refugee program. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Yeon Quinn, left, and Sue Maienschein hold candles during a vigil at Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. People gathered to protest against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. and suspending the nationÄôs refugee program. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
TOPSHOT - Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Demonstrators protest outside Downing Street against US President Donald Trump in central London on January 30, 2017. President Trump signed an executive order on January 27, 2016 restricting immigration from seven Muslim countries. / AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Gerry Adams was shot and wounded in 1984.

In 1996, the IRA attempted to kill police officers guarding the DUP's Nigel Dodds as he visited his sick child in the Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

"The American dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as as much of a turn-on as his money."
On Barack Obama: "Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be at one of my courses. I would invite him, I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big."
"Everything in life is luck."
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
"If you're interested in balancing work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
"I just sold an apartment to China for $15million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them? I love China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In Trump Tower."
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They're rapists."
I will build a great wall - and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me and I'll build them very expensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn't know the air conditioner didn't work and sweated like dogs and they didn't know the room was too big because they didn't have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump mocks reporter Serge Kovaleski's disability. While waving his arms around he said: "Now the poor guy [Kovaleski] — you ought to see the guy: ‘Uhh I don’t know what I said. I don’t remember.’ He’s going, ‘I don’t remember. Maybe that’s what I said."
Mr Trump told ABC's Good Morning America that banning Muslims was warranted because the US is essentially at war with Muslim extremists who have launched attacks including last week's shooting in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14. "We are now at war," he said, adding: "We have a president who doesn't want to say that." "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump assures America he has no size issues during Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (AP)
An protester against Donald Trump holds a burning T-shirt outside the Republican's rally in Albuquerque (AP)
After the Orlando nightclub mass shooting - the worst in American history - Donald Trump tweeted: "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart! "

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