- Donald Trump Jr.'s new book, "Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us," accuses the left of censorship and stifling open debate.
- But during an event for his book at the University of California at Los Angeles on Sunday, he upset his own audience by refusing to take questions, The Guardian reported.
- Trump said he wanted to avoid the possibility that recordings of the interactions might go viral on social media and damage his father, the newspaper reported.
- Attendees ended up heckling Trump and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle. The two left after 20 minutes of what was billed to be a two-hour event, The Guardian said.
- Turning Point USA said it had made the decision to cancel the Q&A after being notified of pre-planned protests against Trump and Guilfoyle.
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Donald Trump Jr., whose new book accuses his opponents of censorship and stifling open debate, stormed out of his own book launch Sunday after being heckled for refusing questions, The Guardian reported.
The president's son and his girlfriend, the former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, had been at the University of California at Los Angeles to promote his new book, "Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us."
The campus event had been organized by the conservative student group Turning Point USA, the Los Angeles Times reported.
But barely 20 minutes into the event, which was meant to be two hours long, supporters were angry that Trump and Guilfoyle were refusing to take questions, The Guardian reported.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
They offered explanations for their refusal, including "time constraints" and the prospect that footage of Trump answering questions could be twisted into viral social-media posts to damage his father, The Guardian reported.
This appears to contradict the thesis of Trump's book, which accuses critics of his father of seeking to silence people like him by using their "powers of censorship" and accusations of racism, rather than engaging with their ideas.
Here's how the event went down, as described by The Guardian:
Donald Trump Jr.: I'm willing to listen ...
Audience: Q and A! Q and A!
Trump: We'll go into the lion's den and talk …
Audience: Then open the Q and A!
Guilfoyle is said to have later shouted at the crowd, "You're not making your parents proud by being rude and disruptive."
She and Trump left the stage moments later, The Guardian said.
The Daily Bruin, UCLA's student newspaper, paraphrased attendees as saying the event "contradicted itself" for not allowing questions. It also cited Daniel Blecker, a first-year student who went just to see what a pro-Trump event was like, as saying Trump was "scared of being triggered by the questions people ask."
UCLA students had also protested Trump's invitation to campus, with dozens of demonstrators holding signs earlier Sunday and chanting "UCLA protects fascists," the Los Angeles Times reported.
Bob Levey/Getty Images for Left/Right TV
Ricardo Vazquez, a UCLA spokesman, did not comment on what happened at the event, referring the matter to Turning Point USA and Trump instead because the talk was organized by a student group rather than the university.
However, he told Business Insider in a statement that the university stood by speakers' and students' "right to speak, be heard, hear others and peacefully dissent."
A spokesman for Turning Point USA told Business Insider in a statement that the organization had chosen to cancel the Q&A.
"This was a Turning Point USA event and it was our organization's decision to cancel the Q&A portion days before after we were made aware of a pre-planned effort to disrupt the event," the statement said.
Vazquez, the UCLA spokesman, added: "Allowing someone to speak on campus is not an endorsement of their views. UCLA is committed to equity, inclusion and mutual respect as well as protecting the physical safety of everyone on campus. This includes their right to speak, be heard, hear others and peacefully dissent."
Trump has not directly said anything publicly about the abortive UCLA book event.
After a separate event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library later Sunday — where he said he stayed for four hours — he tweeted, "Thank you Reagan Library for an amazing evening." Pointing to a picture of Jeb Bush, whom his father assailed as "low-energy" during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, he added: "Unlike some, this show stays HIGH ENERGY!"
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