Donald Trump Jr. Reacts to 'The View' Backlash, Laments "Insanity of California" (Q&A)

Donald Trump Jr - Getty - H 2019
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"In Hollywood and the media, they’re preaching tolerance out of one side of their mouth while preaching hate out of the other side," the president's son says.

Donald Trump Jr.’s Nov. 7 appearance on ABC’s The View to promote his new book Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us managed to, at least, rile up a whole lot of people on both sides of the political aisle in the audience. 

The president's son, who holds the title of executive vp at the Trump Organization, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his book while reflecting on his volatile stint on The View. Surprisingly, Trump also wades into California politics with an endorsement of a couple of media personalities he hopes will challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom. (This conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.)

On your book tour, what’s the response you are getting from liberals?

Like everything that involves Trump, it is a pretty binary type deal. But the response from some people on the left has been positive. Book signings have been oversold, so in some cases we’re turning people away.

Any hostility?

Certainly on college campuses, and you saw my interview on The View. There was certainly hostility there, but that’s okay.

Now that you have reflected on that for nearly a week, what’s your true and unvarnished opinion of that appearance?

I’m glad I did it. It shows the thesis of my book. It’s called The View for a reason — you’re not allowed another one. It’s not called “The Views.” And that was apparent very quickly. You ask someone to talk about their book and in three segments you don’t ask a single question about the book? So it’s not unreasonable to expect me to fire back, as I did, so it was great.

Any specific member of the panel that day who bothered you?

No. Whoopi Goldberg showed up to one of the Apprentice finales a few years ago, so I don’t know what changed since then. But that’s the political climate we live in. If they don’t like me and I don’t get invited back, that’s not a big deal. That’s an issue with some people who don’t fire back when they should because they want to get invited back.

How do you deal with the negativity in the media toward your dad and family?

I fight back as best I can and I don’t let it bother me much. I guess I got some of that Trump gene where someone coming after me doesn’t bother me. I don’t lose sleep over a bad article. It means absolutely nothing to me. I couldn’t care less. But if people are going to question my character, I’m going to fight back.

Anyone in particular in Hollywood or the media that you are referring to, someone that irks you more than the rest?

So many of them. It’s probably easier to list the people who don’t. In Hollywood and the media, they’re preaching tolerance out of one side of their mouth while preaching hate out of the other side.

Who is preaching hate?

The most recent would be Debra Messing, who came out pretty hard against my father, and even my appearance on The View. There’s a lot of irony given the way she tries to portray herself versus what she is more than happy to say about my father, conservatives, myself — and the people of The View for even having me on to express a different viewpoint.

What do you think of people who advance the notion that you don’t deserve a platform because you are spewing hate?

I’m not sure what hate we are spewing. They call everyone a racist, misogynist, homophobe. They throw out answers to questions that are not asked about topics that are not under discussion. Racism has become the easy button of the left. If I disagree with you but you can’t make a factual argument, you say I’m a racist. It’s sad, because racism is a real problem — It’s just not the answer to every problem, and that’s what they’ve made it. Now people roll their eyes at the word because it is so overplayed. They’ve done a major disservice to people actually afflicted by it.

What do you think about the way the media is covering the potential impeachment of the president?

Like we saw with the Mueller hoax, it’s the same thing, and the outrage over my View appearance and outing the whistleblower, even though I just quote-tweeted an article that had his name in the title. He wasn’t “outed” because he was on the Drudge Report four days prior and on RealClearPolitics. 

You were on Dennis Prager’s radio show and Adam Carolla’s podcast and you endorsed them for governor and lieutenant governor of California. Is that a real thing?

I saw their movie, No Safe Spaces. It was fantastic. I don’t know if they’ll run, but it would be nice to see some pushback. I was at the Reagan Library and moderates and even some who lean liberal were saying that we have to do something about the insanity of California. It’s not liberal anymore, it’s left. It’s like the woke-goalpost is moved every day. If you’re woke today, tomorrow you’re alt-right. People are fed up with the BS and of the never-ending moving of the goalpost.

Is there a movie or TV show that’s devoid of politics, or even political, that you enjoy?

These days it’s hard to avoid politics. But I don’t have time to watch much TV. I get my amusement from following the memes online and throwing them back out there and starting my own little fires in a humorous way.

Which Democrat would you like to see your father run against for the presidency of the United States?

Any one of them at this point would be wonderful.

THR reached out to Messing, who was unavailable for comment. THR reached out to Carolla and Prager, and Carolla said: “As long as Dennis is governor and I’m lieutenant. I want him to do all the heavy lifting. I make a better second in command. Just ask [Jimmy] Kimmel.”