ABC’s “The View” apologized on air Wednesday to leading conservative youth organization Turning Point USA (TPUSA) after it threatened to sue over the co-hosts’ comments linking the group to so-called neo-Nazis.
Co-host Sarah Haines read a statement on air correcting her co-hosts’ remarks made during the July 25 show to make clear that so-called neo-Nazi demonstrators were not part of TPUSA’s Florida Student Action Summit in Tampa.
“We want to make clear that these demonstrators were gathered outside the event and that they were not invited or endorsed by Turning Point USA,” Haines said.
“A Turning Point USA spokesman said the group ‘100 percent condemns those ideologies,’ and said Turning Point USA security tried to remove the neo-Nazis from the area but could not because they were on public property.
“Also, Turning Point USA wanted us to clarify that this was a Turning Point USA summit and not a Republican Party event. So we apologize for anything we said that may have been unclear on these points,” she said.
The apology came after TPUSA threatened to the sue over remarks made on air by the show’s co-hosts two days earlier.
On Monday, co-host Joy Behar told viewers that “neo-Nazis were out there in the front of the conference with antisemitic slurs and, you know, the Nazi swastika, and a picture of a so-called Jewish person with exaggerated features, just like Goebbels did during the Third Reich. It’s the same thing, right out of that same playbook.”
Later, Haines said she had a “legal note” and read a disclaimer informing viewers that TPUSA had condemned the so-called Nazi demonstrators, saying they “had nothing to do with the organization.”
Whoopi Goldberg chimed in to say: “But you let them in. You let them in and you knew what they were, so you are complicit.”
Later in the show Goldberg walked this remark back somewhat, saying she wanted to “make a quick clarification about the neo-Nazis.”
“They were outside protesters. My point was more metaphorical, that you embraced them at your thing, I felt. So, they were not in the building,” she said.
Goldberg went on to emphasize that she knew the so-called neo-Nazis “were not in the building,” but insisted “they were in the mix of people at the thing.”
TPUSA said on Twitter that while “The View” co-hosts were “forced by their legal department to correct two of these misrepresentations live on air, Whoopi continued to insist that TPUSA somehow welcomed ‘nazis’ into our event ‘metaphorically.’”
Turning Point USA ‘Still Entertaining’ Suing
Following the apology, TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk said the conservative organization for young people was “still entertaining” the idea of suing over “The View” co-hosts’ comments.
“We’re talking to some of the best lawyers out there that are experts in this. And as you know these things can be very complicated. There’s a lot of facts and circumstances around it,” he told Fox News’ “Jesse Watters Primetime” show.
Kirk noted that it was one thing to attack him as the organization’s founder, but he took exception to the ABC show smearing 5,000 students who traveled from “across the country” and may “have to live for the rest of their life with a shadow over them because someone at ABC says that they might be linked to neo-Nazis.”
He also noted that it took the threat of a lawsuit for the media outlet to offer an apology.
“We’re not going to let this go. Because you should not be able to smear 5,000 high school and college kids and then just be able to walk away with it,” Kirk added.
Kirk suggested the reason “The View” co-hosts “felt they needed to do that” is because they didn’t want their audience to “think twice” about why “5,000 kids decided to spend a weekend in summer traveling across the country to go hear from conservative speakers” when gas prices are high and flights are “super expensive.”
“That’s why they felt so compelled to try to smear our wonderful summit this last week,” he said.