Politics

McCain, Behar Battle Over Trump: ‘I’m Not Allowed to Change the Subject?’

ABC's 'The View' ladies clashed over who bears blame for the violent political rhetoric across the nation after synagogue shooting

Co-hosts Meghan McCain and Joy Behar clashed repeatedly on ABC’s “The View” on Monday as the panelists debated whether President Donald Trump deserves blame for crude pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats and CNN — and Saturday’s massacre in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

One of the clashes began after co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked her peers “how much responsibility” social media companies and media outlets have to guard against hate speech and combat violent rhetoric. Behar (pictured above center) immediately swung the conversation to Trump.

“The media should stop covering those rallies of his. That’s my one recommendation,” Behar said to applause, referring to Trump’s immensely successful Make America Great Again (MAGA) rallies around the country. “It just empowers him more.”

McCain (above, far right) chided Behar. “That seems like a logical response to that question,” she said. “I mean, come on, we’re talking about social media’s impact and we jumped to Trump’s rallies.”

“I jump wherever I damn please, OK?” Behar snapped at McCain, who then replied, “It’s off topic.”

Behar complained McCain admonished her twice that morning for changing the topic, wondering, “I’m not allowed to change the subject if I want to?”

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“I just thought we were talking about social media,” McCain clarified.

Behar fired back, “All right, so you talk about it then.”

The first time McCain highlighted Behar’s change of topic occurred during the initial segment focusing on how the nation as a whole has been affected over the last few years by harsh political rhetoric and hate speech.

“How did we get here? Have we always been here? Is this what we’ve always been and we didn’t know it, or is this … a new kind of freakout that we’re experiencing?” Goldberg asked.

Co-host Sunny Hostin (above far left) noted, “We certainly have seen an uptick in hate crimes since 2016. I mean, the research is out there and the stats are out. And while I would never say that this administration is directly responsible for an individual’s actions, I do think in a sense our country is in a place that it’s never been before because the tone is coming from the top.”

Hostin added, “We’ve come to a point where people are afraid to stand up and stand out and say, ‘No. This is wrong’ … I feel that it’s coming from the tone at the top.”

Co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that “leadership starts at the top and more needs to be done there,” but insisted that “every single one of us” is responsible for demonstrating “tolerance and love and acceptance” to the next generation.

That’s when Behar chimed in: “Love is good, but you need laws … The fact that some of these crazies all have guns, they’re not about love and understanding anymore. It’s about laws. Change the laws, you change the behavior.”

Related: Conway Blasts Media and Late-Night Hosts, Says ‘Anti-Religiosity’ to Blame for Synagogue Shooting

As the conversation veered into anti-gun territory, McCain admonished Hostin and Behar, saying, “I didn’t think we were going to have a conversation about AR-15s, but I’m happy to. I wanted to have a conversation about tolerance.”

“So go ahead,” Behar fired back.

McCain replied, “You decide which one you want,” before returning the conversation to “tolerance” and who bears blame for today’s hostile political climate.

She also pointed out that Democrats often give a pass to politicians like Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and his association with Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI).

“So all the way around we should hold everyone accountable for what’s going on, not just only on the Right,” McCain said.

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