When 11-year-old Barron Trump saw an image of his father’s severed head on television, he thought something terrible had happened.
The image – part of a photoshoot comedian Kathy Griffin did with photographer Tyler Shields – was posted on her Twitter account and shows the bloodied face of the US President (the image can be seen here).
The 56-year-old captioned the gruesome image, “There was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his … wherever,” referencing Trump’s comments about journalist Megyn Kelly in 2015.
According to TMZ, the youngest son of Donald Trump screamed for his mother when he saw the image on the screen.
"He's 11. He doesn't know who Kathy Griffin is and the head she was holding resembled his dad," a source told the site.
First Lady Melania Trump said she found the photo "very disturbing".
LISTEN: Hungry for all things politics? Us too. Let us give you an update on what's going on.
"As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing," she said in a statement.
"When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong.
"[It] makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it."
The President also tweeted a response to the stunt, admitting his son was having a "hard time" dealing with it.
He labelled the comedian "sick".
Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
Griffin has since deleted the image from her social media profiles and issued an apology, admitting that she went "too far".
"I sincerely apologise. I am just now seeing the reaction of these images. The image is too disturbing, I understand how it offends people," she said in a video posted on Twitter.
"I've made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue. Taking down the image, gonna ask the photographer to take down the image.
"I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far, I made a mistake and I was wrong."
I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/LBKvqf9xFB
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) May 30, 2017
As soon as Griffin posted the original image, famous faces from both sides of the political fence tweeted their disapproval.
.@kathygriffin I'm sorry but that is totally inappropriate and so very offensive. And I have to believe you're smart enough to know better.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 30, 2017
This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president. https://t.co/zIiuKoMyFw
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 30, 2017
The US Secret Service even sent a tweet alluding to the controversy, writing, "Threats made against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all of our investigations."