There were fireworks on “The View,” and not just because it was celebrating 5,000 shows.
Topics ranged from Trump Jr.’s decision to reveal the identity of an anonymous whistleblower in a tweet to accusations that he’s benefitted from nepotism, but it was a question about character that let to what was arguably the most explosive portion of the interview.
Meghan McCain — who told Yahoo Entertainment ahead of the broadcast that she believed Trump Jr. would dictate the tone of the interview — told Trump Jr., “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.” She then asked, “Does all of this make you feel good?”
Trump Jr. defended his father, saying in part, “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. I’m not happy that people interpret it that way. I don’t think that’s our intention.”
Co-host Joy Behar defended McCain’s questioning of President Trump’s character. “She’s talking about lowering the discourse to his level, which is horrible for this country. Even if people are working, we don’t want to have a country like that. Do you understand that?” she asked.
Trump Jr. fired back at Behar, “We’ve all done things that we regret. If we’re talking about bringing the discourse down — Joy, you’ve worn blackface.” Behar replied, “No, I have not!”
Behar had previously come under fire for her admission that she once dressed as a “beautiful African woman” at a Halloween party.
Moderator Whoopi Goldberg leapt to Behar’s defense. “She was not in blackface. Being black, I recognize blackface — this I can say. I know it when I see it.”
During the live show’s commercial break, Trump Jr. tweeted a clip of the episode where Behar shows a photo of her in costume:
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 7, 2019
With the panel engaged in a confusing cacophony of cross-talk and further allegations of character questioning, Goldberg took charge of the conversation by ringing a bell on the table. “Hold up! Hold up! Hold up!” she shouted before taking the show to a scheduled break.
Twitter erupted with comments, and many applauded the panel for their tough questioning and some defended Behar:
Very proud of the women on @TheView for their thoughtful questions. Their restraint and diplomacy was amazing.
— Sharon L. Hourigan (@shourigan) November 7, 2019
The Trumps can dish it out but can’t take it. Wimps!
— Maxine kessler (@KesslerMitzmax) November 7, 2019
SHE DID NOT WEAR BLACKFACE.
— Rosario Saenz (@saenzsquid2) November 7, 2019
He has a lot of damn nerve try to justify his family’s actions, especially the disrespect they showed Sen. McCain. Not a fan of Meghan in general but she showed far more restraint than I would have managed. Well done.
— Scout’s Mom (@scouts_a_dog) November 7, 2019
But others saw the interview as a win for Trump Jr., slamming the panel’s treatment of the President’s son:
They are “entertainers” that are not very bright. They have been propped up for years as some sort of important voice. So ignorance is spewed and arrogance is through the roof. Little minds given lots of power🤷🏻♀️
— jennydee (@jenndee19) November 7, 2019
Lol no, @donaldtrumpjr owned and enraged The View. He torched them. Bringing him on was an unmitigated disaster for the left.
— I don't meet ABCs editorial standards MAGAsubvet (@AvetMag) November 7, 2019
— kimmitx (@kimmiintx) November 7, 2019
Good going DTjr!! These view women will never believe the truth or facts about President Trump, especially when it pertains to the good things he is doing for the country!! All because of their vile hatred for him!!
— AC1259 (@adeline31259) November 7, 2019
Watch Meghan McCain reveal she almost didn’t work at “The View:”
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: