GAINESVILLE, Florida — Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday spoke at the University of Florida (UF) as an invited guest of the UF student government’s ACCENT Speakers Bureau alongside Trump campaign senior adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle. Their appearance drew the ire of left-wing activists, who rejected their pro-America, anti-socialism message and unwittingly helped Trump promote his upcoming book Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.
Trump took the stage after Guilfoyle, who detailed her experience of pursuing the American dream.
“I am not a victim. I have never believed that I am a victim,” she declared.
She decried the left’s pursuit of socialism, which she said is “plaguing” the Democrat Party, and told the audience that the left “need[s] you to be a victim.”
“You have the power and control over your own beautiful life,” Guilfoyle said, encouraging attendees to “dream,” which provoked campus protesters, who shouted, “bullshit.” Trump supporters quickly drowned the protesters out by chanting, “USA, USA, USA!”
The disgruntled protesters became increasingly vocal after Trump took the stage. He, like Guilfoyle, warned of the fallacies of socialism — a narrative that prompted anti-Trump activists to shout, “fuck you!”
“Couple things I’m going to talk about because they’re sort of relevant to college campuses today beyond the sort of obvious suppression of conservative ideas and lack of free speech,” Trump said, “something that I included in the book I have coming out in a few weeks called Triggered.”
“I probably don’t have to explain to you why the book is called Triggered because you can hear from the audience just why that is,” he said amid shouting.
“But really, one of the things that sort of drove me to write that book is people ask me — they’re like, ‘Don, you’re the son of a billionaire from New York City. You went to an Ivy League school. You’re supposed to be a liberal,” he said as left-wing protesters stood up and shouted.
“And you know why I’m not?” Trump continued, unfazed by the protesters.
“Because I have a mother who escaped from some of the liberal ideas that are now being preached on college campuses,” he said, mentioning socialism again.
Trump noted that virtually no one from communist or socialist countries are able to vouch for the systems and pointed to Venezuela, which further triggered activists scattered across the crowd.
“How about Venezuela? A once thriving country, beautiful, with prosperity for everything. How come there’s no one from Venezuela talking about the wonders of socialism?” Trump asked.
“They’re selling a fictitious creed. It’s easy to buy into Santa Claus when you don’t have the facts,” he said before pivoting to the success of his father’s administration.
“Under this administration, there isn’t a single economic metric where we are not better off today than we were three years ago,” Trump said, citing the historically low unemployment rate for African Americans and Hispanics and the millions of individuals off of food stamps. The latter indicates that people are “self-sufficient,” which is “scary” to the left, which only offers dependence, Trump added.
Once again, protesters broke out in a “bullshit” chant.
Protesters could also be heard chanting, “Nazi scumbag,” “No KKK, no fascist USA,” and “you put children in cages.”
“Let them get it out of their system. It’s all good,” Trump said over the shouting. “That’s what we’re facing. You guys have a decision.”
“The difference between the sides are — I’ll still come here. Because as my father said in 2016, he’s going to be the president for all Americans, not just those who agree with him,” he said to cheers.
Trump concluded his speech by thanking supporters for “having the guts” to attend the event and urged college students to exercise the ability to listen and “have sensible arguments face to face — not on social media where everyone’s a badass.”
“Not behind a computer screen where everyone’s a tough guy,” Trump said. “Having that dialogue, respectfully, I promise you will learn a lot, and it will serve you well for the rest of your lives.”
Protests occurred outside throughout the duration of the event. Activists from Planned Parenthood and March for Our Lives were in attendance, one of whom displayed a picture of Andrew Pollack’s daughter, Meadow, who was one of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
“A @AMarch4OurLives activist is using a picture of my deceased daughter to protest @DonaldJTrumpJr at @UF. My family has asked the group to leave her name out of their gun-grabbing agenda more than once. Meadow wouldn’t agree with their agenda,” he wrote:
My family has asked the group to leave her name out of their gun-grabbing agenda more than once.
Meadow wouldn’t agree with their agenda. pic.twitter.com/xhW5m8gG23
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) October 11, 2019
“Imagine being so desperate to strip people of their rights that you’d use a family’s daughter, who was tragically murdered along with her classmates, to advance your agenda,” Trump tweeted following the event.
“This is what the Left does to good people,” he continued. “You’ll always have our support, Mr. Pollack”:
Imagine being so desperate to strip people of their rights that you’d use a family’s daughter, who was tragically murdered along with her classmates, to advance your agenda.
This is what the Left does to good people.
You’ll always have our support, Mr. Pollack. https://t.co/44YPJZpV2R
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 11, 2019