Donald Trump Jr. and girlfriend/Trump campaign senior adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle were at the University of California at Los Angeles on Sunday, ready and probably hoping for liberal protesters to join them at the promotional event for Trump Jr.’s new book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us, per The Washington Post. They got dissenters alright, but just not the kind they expected.
The couple were being drowned out by protestors who fell under the same party as them: a number of conservatives in MAGA gear were shouting at Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle for 20 minutes after they found out the question-and-answer session had been canceled. The event was moderated by Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, The Guardian reports.
In a moment of beautiful irony, Trump Jr. appeared to think that the first shouts of dissent were coming from leftist protesters:
“Name a time when conservatives have disrupted even the furthest leftist on a college campus,” he said to the crowd. “It doesn’t happen that way. We’re willing to listen.”
A member of the audience interrupted with a shout: “Then open the Q&A!”
“See what I mean?” Trump Jr. answered. “And that is the problem. And the reason often times it doesn’t make sense to do the Q&A is not because we’re not willing to talk about the questions, ‘cause we do. No. It’s because people hijack it with nonsense looking to go for some sort of sound bite. You have people spreading nonsense, spreading hate, trying to take over the room.”
Guilfoyle then shouted at the protesters, “You’re not making your parents proud by being rude and disruptive and discourteous. We are happy to answer a question. Respect the people around you so that they can hear.” When the crowd continued to demand their chance to ask questions, Guilfoyle rudely continued, “Let me tell you something, I bet you engage and go on online dating because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.” It was this fateful response that led even more of an uproar and required the couple to leave the stage.
The early end of the event leads us to where it started: Nicholas Fuentes, 21, a self-professed “American Nationalist” who started the “America First” movement, has been leading the most radical young Trump supporters against slightly more mainstream conservative groups like Turning Point USA. Fuentes has appeared in YouTube videos advocating for a white ethnostate and using anti-Semitic slurs, and also marched in Charlottesville with white supremacists during the 2017 Unite the Right rally (per the Boston Globe).
Fuentes tweeted to take credit for the event:
Liberal protesters were present at the event as well, but in much smaller numbers. Roughly three dozen demonstrators played drums and held “Trump/Pence Out Now” signs outside of the event. One girl booed from the audience within Moore Hall, where the event took place, and Kirk, Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle employed Trump Jr.’s book title, calling her “triggered.” About 30 minutes later, she was drowned out by the far right attendees.
It’s laughably ironic that Trump Jr. had to leave an event due to Republican protesters when his whole book is about how liberal “snowflakes” are making civil discourse impossible between parties. Still, the more concerning notion to come out of this is that Fuentes is leading a group of fanatical young Trump supporters who claim the conservative party isn’t radical enough for them, and they aren’t backing down.