University of Florida students protest Trump Jr. appearance

UPI Photo

Hundreds of University of Florida students protested the school paying Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle to speak on campus Thursday night.

The pair was paid $50,000 by the university’s student government to appear. Some of the protesters told The Washington Post that their objection was not to the appearance but to the payment coming out of mandatory student fees.

{mosads}Guilfoyle during the speech described it as “a service for the freedom of speech and the First Amendment,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. Guilfoyle is a former Fox News personality who is currently serving as a Trump campaign adviser. She is also Trump Jr.’s girlfriend.

The local newspaper estimated a crowd of around 800 at the event, some of them protesters.

Guilfoyle responded to protests by suggesting “some people here need to go home and have some Netflix and chill,” according to the Times. “They seem a little stressed out.”

“Your ideas can’t be all that good if you’re not willing to let other people speak theirs,” Trump Jr. also told the protesters, according to the report.

The appearance was not meant to be a campaign event, according to the speaking agreement. But the duo spoke about President Trump’s accomplishments and criticized former Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently running to be Trump’s Democratic challenger in 2020.

Trump Jr. raised allegations against Biden of wrongdoing in Ukraine, according to The Washington Post. A phone call in which President Trump pressed the Ukrainian president to investigate those allegations is at the center of an ongoing impeachment inquiry into the president.

“What would happen if Donald Trump Jr. sat on a board of a corrupt Ukrainian company? Do you think the media would have a problem with that?” Trump Jr. said, according to the Post. 

The Post reported that protesters responded by yelling “Lock him up! Lock him up!” The chant is common at Trump campaign events. Although it was unclear whether the crowd was referring to Biden or Trump Jr., he responded by saying, “I agree, they should probably lock up Joe.”

Trump Jr. also at one point during the event joked about his father’s aggressiveness on social media and separately made a “Me Too” joke.

When asked about the best advice his father ever gave him, Trump Jr. said the president warned him about being “too aggressive” on social media, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“I said, wait a minute, I will take your advice on business, politics and virtually everything,” he said, according to the report. “But one place I may not listen is that I’m getting too hot on social media, because I’m pretty sure he has set the benchmark.”

Later, when Guilfoyle kissed him on stage, Trump Jr. pointed out that she consented.

“She kissed me,” he said, according to the report. “I don’t want to get ‘Me Too-ed’ on a college campus.”

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jr. Joe Biden Kimberly Guilfoyle MeToo movement speaking fees University of Florida University of Florida

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