With Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry in full swing, the whole family is in the hot seat more than ever. Meghan McCain confronted Donald Trump Jr. on The View Thursday, taking the president’s son on for his father’s treatment of the Khan family, her own father Sen. John McCain, and more.
The history behind President Trump and John McCain isn’t pretty — Trump has repeatedly attacked the late senator, even after his death in 2018. While Trump Jr. was ostensibly on the show to discuss the impeachment inquiry, Meghan McCain had another bone to pick with the president’s son.
“Mr. Trump, a lot of Americans in politics miss character, and a lot of people miss the soul of this country,” she told Trump Jr. “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 that I think should be respected for the loss of their son. Does all of this make you feel good?”
(The Khan family McCain references here is Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son Humayan Khan was killed in the Iraq War. Trump met with the Khan family in 2016 and criticized the couple in the days that followed, drawing widespread ire from conservatives and liberals alike.)
Trump Jr. replied: “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— ”
Moderator Whoopi Goldberg cuts him off at this point, allowing Trump Jr. to finish up his sentiment (“I understand that he’s controversial” is more or less the gist) before McCain reiterates her question.
“The question is about character and character in politics,” Meghan repeats to Trump Jr. “Character in politics, I believe, is important. It was how I was raised, it’s the way I view the lens of America, and I understand what you’re saying about policy, but when you’re talking about attacking Gold Star families who have given the ultimate sacrifice more than anyone in this room has given, and you put them through pain. Does it make you feel like this was worth it?”
“I know he does a lot with Gold Star families,” Trump Jr. says, “and he calls a lot of those Gold Star families and he has a lot of care for those people.” McCain shoots back: “He should call the Khans and apologize.” Trump Jr. doesn’t reply.
Later, the conflict between Donald Trump and John McCain is touched on explicitly: “I think she didn’t appreciate that your father attacked her father,” host Sunny Hostin adds.
“I understand, I’m sorry about that,” Trump Jr. admits. “They did have differences, I agree with that.”
But Meghan is determined not to be derailed: “It’s just, for me, it would not have been worth it,” she says, returning to her initial question. “This would have not been worth it. And I think people can go to the moment when my dad had stopped someone from saying Obama was a Muslim and the pain, inflicting pain, on so many people wouldn’t have been worth it to me or my family to the White House. So, I just want to know: Is it worth it?”
“I think it depends on the hat that I’m wearing,” Trump Jr. finally concedes. “As a citizen, as a father of kids in New York City…it hasn’t exactly been peaches and cream for us either. But you know, when it is worth it when I do go around the country and I see people who are affected by these policies, who are getting to live their American dream again, who are seeing wage growth for the lowest levels go up.”
By the end of the segment, the pair didn’t seem much closer to agreeing on any one point — except maybe this: “I would like there to be more civility in politics,” Trump Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle chimed in. “Try and bring civility back then,” Meghan encouraged. “You can do it.”