Donald Trump Jr.’s appearance Sunday at a university to talk about his new book on liberals and free speech was marked by an argument between him and the audience over why he would not take questions, the Guardian newspaper reported.
Members of the audience of about 450 people at the University of California, Los Angeles, were vocally angry that Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, declined to take questions because of time constraints, The Guardian reported. Trump was at UCLA to promote his new book Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.
After initially being greeted with shouts of shouts of “USA! USA!” when he first appeared on the stage of a lecture hall, members of the audience eventually turned to louder, openly hostile chants of “Q and A! Q and A!” after they were told he would not take questions, the newspaper reported.
The Guardian said that Trump Jr. told the audience that taking questions from the floor risked creating soundbites that left-wing social media posters would abuse and distort.
Guilfoyle told audience members that they were being rude, according to the Guardian. Salon reported that the former Fox News host then angered the crowd further by suggesting, “I bet you engage and go on online dating because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.”
Shortly thereafter, she and Trump Jr. left the stage.
Outside the lecture hall, several dozen protesters organized by the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse Fascism protested. The Los Angeles Times reports that protesters chanted “UCLA protects fascists” and “humanity first.”
Andy Stein, a supporter of Donald Trump, told the Times that he came to UCLA to listen to Trump Jr. because he sees the son as a “chip off the old block” and admires his “feistiness.”
According to the Guardian, one of the loudest protesters in the audience at UCLA on Sunday was 21-year-old Nick Fuentes, an extreme-right activist and podcaster who has become a figurehead among the more outwardly xenophobic, racist, and homophobic corners of the far-right movement.
Fuentes and his followers have targeted others on the far right, notably Charlie Kirk, the 25-year-old founder of Turning Point USA, one of the sponsors of Trump Jr.’s book tour. Kirk appeared alongside the younger Trump on Sunday.
In a tweet Sunday evening, Fuentes said he and his followers were not upset with Trump Jr., whom he called a “patriot,” but rather Turning Point USA, which he claimed “SHUTS DOWN and SMEARS socially conservative Christians and supporters of President Trump’s agenda.”
“We are AMERICA FIRST!” he wrote.