Donald Trump Jr. had a lot to say on The View on Thursday — where he sparred with the panel over impeachment, his own controversies and the Bidens — and he had more to say about it after his contentious interview was over.
Appearing on Sean Hannity‘s Fox News show Thursday night, President Donald Trump‘s oldest son joked that “I don’t think they like me much anymore.”
Don Jr. also groused that he hadn’t been asked a single question about his new book, Triggered, which was the ostensible reason for his appearance along with girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle.
“You know what, every once in a while, you gotta try to speak to everyone,” Don Jr., 41, told Hannity after the Fox host asked him why he went on The View for the first time. “Hopefully they listen, in that case they didn’t — ’cause you would think if you’re invited on a show, and they build it up and they’re giving you three segments, you’d think if you were there to promote a book they’d ask you one question about the actual book, Sean, but they didn’t do that.”
Then he swiped once more at The View co-hosts: “I think the title speaks for itself, because they were obviously triggered. I don’t think they like me much anymore. Or Kim for that matter.”
Don Jr.’s joint appearance with Guilfoyle took up the majority of Thursday’s View episode, and the panel wasted no time in pushing Don Jr. to explain and defend his family’s often divisive and inflammatory style.
Abby Huntsman wanted to know why he had decided to release the alleged name of the anonymous government whistleblower whose complaint about President Trump and Ukraine is at the heart of the impeachment investigation.
Sunny Hostin asked Don Jr. to address the apparent hypocrisy between him criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden‘s son Hunter for financially benefiting from the Biden name at the same time that the Trumps are still doing business while their dad is president.
And Meghan McCain, in the episode’s most somber moment, spoke to Don Jr. about his family’s habit of personal, even vulgar, attacks on their critics.
“Mr. Trump, a lot of Americans in politics miss character, and a lot of people miss the soul of this country. You and your family have hurt a lot of people and put a lot of people through a lot of pain, including the Khan family, who is a Gold Star family [whose son was killed in the Army] that I think should be respected for the loss of their son. Does all of this make you feel good?”
“I don’t think any of that makes me feel good, but I do think that we got into this because we wanted to do what’s right for America,” Don Jr. replied.
“When he’s under attack by the same people, when he’s under attack by the establishment, when he’s under attack by this. The reality is this: He’s a counterpuncher,” Don Jr. said later on the show.
“And as a conservative, I would hope that you would appreciate that conservatives haven’t been known for fighting back for a very long time,” he argued to Meghan. “They’ve ceded a ground to the liberals and the liberal elite for decades by not actually fighting back, so I understand, we can keep going back to character. I think that he has great character.”
Hostin cut in to say, “I think she didn’t appreciate that your father attacked her father.” (“I didn’t,” Meghan said quietly.)
“I understand, I’m sorry about that,” Don Jr. told Hostin in the only part of his interview that was explicitly about the president’s ridicule of Sen. John McCain, Meghan’s father, who died last year.
“They did have differences, I agree with that,” Don Jr. said. “And again, I’m sorry for the loss, I think you lost your aunt last night, so I do apologize for that as well.”
Elsewhere in the episode, moderator Whoopi Goldberg snapped back at Don Jr. after he tried to flip the debate about regretful behavior, such as President Trump’s comments about groping women, by saying that co-host Joy Behar had worn “blackface” and Goldberg had “defended” director Roman Polanski.
“I mean if we’re talking about bringing the discourse down, Joy you’ve worn blackface — Whoopi you’ve said Roman Polanski… it wasn’t ‘rape’-rape when he raped a child,” Don Jr. said.
“No, I have not!” Behar said as Don Jr. continued to talk. “I did not wear blackface, please!”
“No, she was not in blackface. Being black I recognize blackface — this I can say,” Goldberg said in Behar’s defense.
“Now that you’ve broken this piece of ice, because I guess this is the fight you wanted,” Goldberg continued, adding, “Are you questioning my character?”
“I’m not questioning your character. You’re questioning my father’s character,” Don Jr. said.
Goldberg replied, “I simply said that when talking about your father has taken more heat than anybody else, that is not so.”
About Polanski, Don Jr. was referring to an episode on The View in 2009 when Goldberg was trying to clarify her co-hosts’ discussion about the exact accusations against Polanski.
“I know it wasn’t rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don’t believe it was rape-rape,” she said in the segment — but she later corrected herself on the show as someone backstage provided more information via her earpiece.
“Initially he was charged with rape and then he pled guilty to having sex with a minor,” she said. In that episode, she also suggested that sexual attitudes toward teenagers had changed over the years, even if she did not agree with how they used to be.
In a deal with prosecutors, Polanski pleaded guilty in the ’70s to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor after being charged with drugging and raping a teenage girl.
A source previously told PEOPLE that during an off-camera exchange with an audience member on Thursday, Goldberg read a portion of her original exchange from 2009. She felt it was important to speak to the audience member “to give context … to give that clarity and help it not just be a bomb thrown, as it were,” the source said.
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