President Donald Trump has claimed that his decision to stand with Saudi Arabia after the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi is all part of his “America First” strategy. “But is it?” Whoopi Goldberg asked on Wednesday’s edition of The View.
Trump’s comments have provoked rare rebukes from typically loyal members of his own party, and the two conservative co-hosts of The View were no exception. Meghan McCain in particular—never a Trump defender—laid into the president for the way he has eroded American values and ideals.
“I knew we were going to come out here and have a beautiful Thanksgiving spread,” McCain said, remarking on the incongruous holiday decorations. “Jamal Khashoggi was cut up into little pieces and brutally murdered for being a dissident journalist. His family are Americans here in this country. There's a tectonic shift happening in our country where human rights violations, we're OK’ing them, we don't have the same response we once did.”
Evoking Ronald Reagan’s “shining city upon a hill” metaphor, she said, “I just don't know where we are as a country where you can slaughter a journalist and we're going to bat an eye, we're going to say there will be no ramifications for this. It sends a message globally that you can brutally murder journalists and it's OK and our president won't listen to the audio because it's too intense to hear and it's a really…”
“A sad day in America,” Joy Behar said, completely her sentence.
“I just — I don't know what's happening. I don't mean to make this about my father, but things were very different when he was around and I feel very unsafe and that we're shifting in a way that's very dangerous and it's not the America I grew up in. It’s not the America I want.”
“There's nothing ‘America First’ about throwing your intelligence community under the bus—ever,” Abby Huntsman added. “And we have seen this time and time again. These are moments where a president either rises as a true leader or you fail miserably and I think he's failed miserably on this. Because these are two of the issues we hold so dear to use as Americans, as Meghan mentioned, human rights but also freedom of speech. And if we don't stand strongly for that, what are we as a country? What do we stand for?”
“When we support oppression, when we support murderous dictatorships, when we’re supposed to be a beacon of freedom globally, again, it's a tectonic shift of what it means to be Americans,” McCain added, “and it's very depressing to tell you all this the day before Thanksgiving.”