What Happened Off-Camera During The View's Heated Interview with Donald Trump Jr.
In addition to boos, there were cheers and clapping in support of Trump and Guilfoyle, who were accompanied by some 15 people, according to a source
Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle‘s often contentious interview on Thursday on The View — the first time that President Donald Trump‘s oldest son had been on the daytime talk show — had its share of conflict both on and off camera.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which had a reporter in attendance for the taping, moderator Whoopi Goldberg admonished the audience during a commercial break not to boo because it interfered with the panelists’ microphones.
“The booing is f—— us up,” she said, THR reported. “It’s messing with everyone’s mic. You can grimace and all that. All we hear is booing.”
At another point, according to THR, Goldberg spoke with an audience member who took issue with comments Goldberg made about director Roman Polanski a decade ago. (A source tells PEOPLE the woman in the audience was brought in by Don Jr.)
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the woman told Goldberg, per THR.
“Then be quiet and listen to me,” Goldberg said back. (“I definitely riled her up,” the woman said later as she left the taping.)
Goldberg’s previous Polanski statements came up from Don Jr. himself during a part of the interview about his dad’s character and preference for personal, even vulgar, attacks on his critics.
“We’ve all done things we regret,” Don Jr. said, then pointing to what he said was a long-ago episode when co-host Joy Behar wore “blackface,” which she and Goldberg said wasn’t true; and another instance in which Goldberg “defended” Polanski.
In 2009, while on The View, Goldberg was trying to clarify her co-host’s 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 on 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 the attitude toward teenagers having sex was different years ago, even if she did not agree with how it 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.
The source tells PEOPLE that during her exchange with the 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 says.
The audience was reportedly vocal throughout the interview, which saw the panel grill Don Jr. on the impeachment investigation against his dad, his feelings about Joe and Hunter Biden, his own social media behavior and his thoughts on the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to the regular boos, there were cheers and clapping in support of Don Jr. and Guilfoyle, who were accompanied by some 15 people in the audience, according to the source.
According to THR, when the interview was ending, a man said, “Praise the lord!”
Earlier, when Don Jr. defended some of his behavior because he said he was a “private citizen,” a woman said, “You’re not a private citizen!”
During one break, the show’s warm-up comedian again reminded attendees, “No booing, no yelling out.”
In a more somber moment during the episode, co-host Meghan McCain, whose father has been regularly attacked by President Trump even after he died last year, asked Don Jr., “You and your family have hurt a lot of people, and put a lot of people through a lot of pain …. 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. My father has been working tirelessly to bring back the American dream, who’ve watched politicians with no business experience send that American dream abroad to countries that hate our guts. He’s brought jobs back, he’s created unprecedented levels of unemployment numbers for African-Americans, for Hispanic Americans— ”
Here, Goldberg cut in to dispute some of those statements.
During the cross-talk, Don Jr. said, “You asked me a question, let me finish it. For women, all-time high startup businesses, so I understand that he’s controversial, I understand that he’s offended a lot of people, but I also understand he took on the establishment and that’s the premier sin in American politics these days, to do that.”