The president’s son butted heads with “The View” hosts over his release of the whistleblower’s name, the impeachment inquiry, and Trump’s treatment of Gold Star families
Donald Trump Jr.’s Thursday appearance on the daytime talk show “The View” devolved into a morning of volleying accusations and heated interruptions.
Though the president’s son had come on to promote his new book, “Triggered,” he bristled when “The View” hosts questioned him about the impact of what they called divisive and racist rhetoric by his father and his recent disclosure of what he said was the identity of the White House whistleblower who instigated the current impeachment inquiry.
Here are three of the most heated moments from Thursday’s episode.
1. Meghan McCain challenges on Trump’s treatment of Gold Star families
“The View” co-host Meghan McCain particularly took issue with Trump’s derisive treatment of veterans and Gold Star families, such as the Khan family.
“You and your family have hurt a lot of people and put a lot of people through a lot of pain,” McCain said. “Does all of this make you feel good?”
“I don’t think any of that makes me feel good, but I think we got into this because we wanted to do what’s right for America,” Trump Jr. responded. “I understand that he is controversial, I understand that he has offended a lot of people, but I also understand he took on the establishment, and that’s the premier sin in American politics today.”
“Character in politics, I believe, is important,” McCain said. “When you’re talking about attacking Gold Star families who have given the ultimate sacrifice, more than any in this room have given, and you put them through pain, do you make you feel like this was worth it?”
2. Donald Trump Jr. accuses Joy Behar of wearing “blackface”
After co-host Joy Behar recited a list of Trump-related scandals, including the president’s notorious “grab her by the p—y” comment in the “Access Hollywood” tape, Trump Jr. put Behar on the hot seat.
“We have all done things that we regret. If we’re talking about bringing the discourse down, Joy. You have worn blackface,” Trump Jr., an apparent reference to a time when she was 29 and dressed as a “beautiful African woman” for a costume.
“No, I have not,” Behar responded.
And Whoopi Goldberg also stepped in to defend her co-host: “No, she was not in blackface. Sorry, being black, I recognize blackface.”
3. Sunny Hostin challenges Trump Jr. on “sham” impeachment inquiry
Sunny Hostin asked Trump Jr. about the impeachment inquiry and why he has called it a “sham.”
“Nothing was withheld,” Trump Jr. said, referring to U.S. military aid to Ukraine that administration officials have said was delayed until that country’s president announced an investigation into Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter. “No one knew any aid was being withheld.”
“But that’s not true. That’s a lie. Military aid was withheld,” Hostin said.
“No one knew about it in the Ukraine,” he said. “There was no quid pro quo.”
“That’s a lie. It was withheld,” Hostin said, before adding later, “That’s a lie. There have been several ambassadors that have testified that the military aid was withheld.”
4. “The View” hosts question why Trump Jr. released the name of a White House official he says is the whistleblower
On Wednesday, Trump Jr. tweeted out the link to a story containing the name of a White House employee he said was the whistleblower whose complaint about the president’s conduct during a phone call with the Ukrainian president ultimately led to the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
“The whole point of releasing a name is to intimidate someone, to threaten someone, and to scare other people from coming out. That’s something that dictators do. I’ve lived in China, I’ve seen that firsthand. That’s not what America does. That’s not what we do. We stand by our people,” “The View” co-host Abby Huntsman said.
“I literally quote tweeted an article that had the guy’s name in the title of the article,” Trump Jr. said. “I wish the outrage would be equal. There was no outrage when my family got an exploding letter with white powder substance in it. They’re protecting a guy in the CIA … but when your family gets something, and that’s a big part of the book. It’s not a level playing field in terms of outrage.”
“He asked to be anonymous. Your family did not. There’s a difference,” Joy Behar said.
Hunstman soon added, “I’m outraged because I care about diplomacy in this country, I care about how we protect people when they see a wrongdoing, that they go through the proper political channels and they are protected for doing that.”
Later, Hostin asked Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and former Fox News host, Kimberly Guilfoyle, whether she had advised him on the criminality of outing a whistleblower. “I didn’t advise him that it was a federal crime, but I did come out of the bathroom and say, ‘I left you alone for 10 minutes, what happened when mamacita was gone?’” Guilfoyle, a former attorney and prosecutor, said.
5. Don Jr. rails against what he calls the “hypocrisy” of the mainstream media
Trump Jr. then brought up recent leaked video indicating that ABC had killed a story about Jeffrey Epstein and reports that CBS had fired one of its staffers, who had previously worked at ABC, for their connection to the leak.
“ABC is right now chasing down a whistleblower about all of the Epstein stuff because those stories were killed. If we’re going to have the conversation about the outrage about whistleblowers, you work with CBS to out the whistleblower who came up with the story,” Trump Jr. began as the conversation became drowned out by cross-talk. “There’s so much hypocrisy out there. Now, I understand that the mainstream media is left leaning … but they’ve gotten rid of the pretense of objectivity.”
“If you talk about hypocrisy, you seem fine with people leaking information if it makes you and your father look good,” Huntsman responded. “Julian Assange is a cyber terrorist, and I think a Russian puppet, and you are fine promoting his stuff if it makes you look good. So how is this whistleblower, who went through the right channels, so how are you now releasing his name and putting his life in danger, but WikiLeaks was doing the right thing?”
Watch more clips from Thursday’s show below:
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