Someone must have thought Donald Trump Jr. appearing on The View to promote his new book would make “good TV.” In actuality, it was just chaos, which, presumably, some might think to be good TV. As for the sake of our mental health, there’s a solid case that it’s not.
Trump’s arrival on the ABC daytime talk show with girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host, began contentiously enough and it only escalated from there. Trump sparred with hosts, who weren’t afraid to fire back, and then the audience — some Trump supporters, some not — got involved with respective boos and cheers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a representative for which was in the audience for the broadcast, some audience members shouted at the roundtable and argued with specific hosts during commercial breaks.
It began with The View cohost Abby Huntsman, a former Fox News reporter and host, whose father sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 and served as ambassador to China under President Obama and ambassador to Russia under President Trump. She was confronting Trump about re-tweeting an article that promoted the alleged identity of the anonymous whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry around President Donald Trump’s phone call with the leader of Ukraine. “The whole point of releasing a name is to intimidate someone, to threaten someone, and to scare other people from coming out,” she said. “That’s something dictators do.”
Trump first tried to pivot by wishing there had been equal media outrage over his family receiving “white powder” in the mail. But, when Sunny Hostin brought up the fact that he’s the son of a president promoting this information, he then claimed to have re-tweeted that article as “a private citizen.”
Not heard in the video recording of the episode, THR states an audience member shouted, “You’re not a private citizen.” Hostin reiterated that Trump Jr. is “a campaign surrogate,” though Guilfoyle clarified he’s not an “official” member of the campaign. Trump, although not as involved in his father’s administration as his siblings, is still a public figure.
Trump’s ever-evolving rationale was all over the place. In claiming hypocrisy against the “liberal” media’s coverage of his family, he mentioned ABC over the leaked recording of anchor Amy Robach speaking about how the network allegedly squashed her reporting on Jeffrey Epstein. (A report from Page Six states CBS fired the ex-ABC employee who had access to the recording.) Huntsman retorted by calling out his hypocrisy over supporting someone like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange for illegally leaking information on President Trump’s opponents, while fighting against the Ukraine whistleblower “who went through the right channels.” Guilfoyle stepped in and reiterated the claim about bias from the media against the Trumps.
The discussion seemed stuck in this circle, until Hostin asked Guilfoyle if she advised her boyfriend that it’s a federal crime for him to out a whistleblower. Trump tried to claim that it’s only a federal crime if the “IG” (Inspector General) leaks the name. “That’s in the statute,” he said. “That’s not true,” Hostin, a lawyer and senior legal analyst for ABC News, replied. “That’s a lie.”
This exchange pretty much categorized the entirety of Trump’s appearance. As topics continued to be juggled, Trump and Guilfoyle tried to argue innocence on the part of President Trump with the Ukraine phone call, citing the transcript the White House released. (Trump is currently under investigation for impeachment after it was shown that the president pressured the Ukrainian leader to investigate unsubstantiated claims against Joe Biden’s son, days after withholding financial aid to the country.) “The President of the United States released the transcript of exactly what happened in that phone call. The whistleblower is giving his opinion, or her opinion, of what transpired,” Guilfoyle said, even though it wasn’t an exact transcript.
The bottom of the White House transcript states that it’s “not a verbatim transcript of a discussion. The text in this document records the notes and recollections of Situation Room Duty Officers and NSC policy staff assigned to listen and memorialize the conversation in written form as the conversation takes place. A number of factors can affect the accuracy of the record.” Even then, the transcript still shows Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a favor and investigate Biden’s son.
Elsewhere, Trump accused Joy Behar of “wearing blackface”; Meghan McCain, who has long detested the Trumps over President Trump’s negative comments about her late father, John McCain, confronted Trump over his own dad’s character; and the hosts questioned Trump over his apparent hypocrisy in the Hunter Biden situation.
Trump claims to take offense over Biden profiting off his father’s position, though Hostin called him out for profiting off his family’s position. Trump argued there was a difference in that he wasn’t profiting off his father’s presidency, though Hostin read aloud data of the money his family made through hotels after his father took office.
The View cohost and moderator Whoopi Goldberg tried at numerous points to retain order during the discussion/shouting matches. But, order seemed like a far-flung idea.
Watch the videos above for Trump and Guilfoyle’s visit to the talk show, which airs daily in syndication.