Whoopi Goldberg: I didn't say 'smoking gun' out of respect for guest Steve Scalise

"The View" moderator Whoopi Goldberg said she avoided using the term "smoking gun" on air out of respect for one of the show's guests that day, Rep. Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTrump leaves GOP in turmoil with shutdown looming Overnight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force House lawmakers delay decision on Saudi Arabia pending investigation MORE (R-La.), who was shot during a congressional baseball practice last year.

Goldberg's remarks on Tuesday came after co-host Meghan McCain used the term while questioning whether there was indisputable evidence of collusion between President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden, Sanders lead field in Iowa poll The Memo: Cohen fans flames around Trump Memo Comey used to brief Trump on dossier released: report MORE and Russian officials leading up to the 2016 election.
 
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“The reason I didn’t say gun was because Steve Scalise was coming on and I didn’t want anybody to misunderstand the joke," Goldberg said.

“If we’re not allowed to —," McCain said before being interrupted by Goldberg.

“You’re allowed to. It was me trying to, you know, be sensitive," Goldberg said.
 
Scalise, along with three others, was shot during a GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., in June 2017. After several surgeries and a long recovery, Scalise returned to work later that year. 
 
The House majority whip joined the ABC roundtable opinion program to discuss his recovery and promote his new book, “Back In The Game," which was released Nov. 13.
 
"I’ve been promised before, including on this show, that we had it, that we had the smoking gun," McCain said earlier in the show, referring to allegations of Trump's ties to Russia.
 
McCain appeared to be referring to a December 2017 ABC News report by former network reporter Brian Ross. At the time, Ross had incorrectly reported that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was directed by the president to make contact with the Russians before taking office. Behar referenced the report on the Dec. 1, 2017, edition of "The View."
 
"ABC’s Brian Ross is reporting Michael Flynn promised full cooperation to the Mueller team,” she said, “and is prepared to testify that as a candidate, Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians."
 
Ross later corrected his reporting, and in a subsequent episode Behar apologized for sharing the report.