May 29, 2024
The former president's 2024 campaign surrogates knew they could be turned away from the spin room at the Fox News debate, but tried anyway and raised a fuss for the cameras when they couldn't get past security. 

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. expressed plenty of outrage Wednesday night when they were barred from entering the media spin room at the Republican primary debate, even though Fox News reportedly made it clear earlier in the week that it was limiting access to that area to aides of candidates who participated in the event.

Given that former President Trump shunned the debate, the only other way his two 2024 campaign surrogates could have entered the spin room is if they were invited guests of a media organization, according to a Fox News memo obtained by the New York Times.

It’s not clear if Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle expected such an invitation, but the MAGA power couple clearly knew it was a possibility that they would be turned away, but tried anyway and raised a fuss for the cameras when they couldn’t get past security.

“It shouldn’t surprise us and it’s also why Trump was 100% right not to go to this debate,” Trump Jr. said

Fox News security blocks Donald Trump Jr. from going into the spin room at the Milwaukee debate.

“It shouldn’t surprise us and it’s also why Trump was 100% right not to go to this debate,” he says.

— Gregory Korte (@gregorykorte) August 24, 2023

Guilfoyle had complained earlier in the week about the likelihood that Fox News would bar them from the spin room, while insisting she “deserved better” because she had worked as a host for the conservative news network for 12 years, the Daily Mail reported. But in discussing this spin room issue on Newsmax, the fiancée of Trump Jr. apparently didn’t mention that she was fired from Fox News for “inappropriate behavior,” as Rupert Murdoch himself said.

Murdoch referred to Guilfoyle in an email, sent in the wake of the 2020 election, saying he “insisted” his network fire Guilfoyle “for inappropriate behavior.” The email was released as part of the Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox News.

The idea that Murdoch wanted Guilfoyle gone adds weight to a report in the New Yorker, published a month before the 2020 election, which suggested that Guilfoyle had to leave Fox News because of sexual harassment allegations made by a former assistant. The report also described efforts by Guilfoyle to cover up the allegations, citing well-informed sources who said the network paid the former assistant up to $4 million to avoid a trial.

Guilfoyle, a former San Francisco prosecutor and the ex-wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, denied the sexual harassment allegations to the New Yorker. Before the New Yorker report, the popular explanation for Guilfoyle’s departure from Fox was that she wanted to avoid conflicts of interest posed by her new romance with Trump Jr.

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In both her Newsmax appearance earlier this week, and on social media, Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. seemed eager for a fight with Fox News about the spin room issue. In an Instagram Story video clip, Trump Jr. spoke from their hotel room in Milwaukee, where the debate was taking place, and promised his 6.5 million followers that he and Guilfoyle would offer live commentary about the debate. They’d also address his father’s arraignment Thursday in Georgia on charges of election interference –Trump’s fourth arraignment on criminal charges. Guilfoyle also popped into the video to say, “I guess they couldn’t keep us out, because here we are.”

But “they” did keep the couple out of the spin room, coverage outside the spin room shows. The Daily Mail reported that Trump Jr. and his fiancée approached the roped-off entryway of the spin room, where a member of the security team whispered in his ear.

“Fox won’t let me into the spin room,” Trump Jr. said, according to the Daily Mail. “‘They’re telling him, he works for security here, but they’re telling him that I’m not allowed to go in there.”

As Guilfoyle proclaimed, “How un-American,” Trump Jr. said he was being blocked by Fox News because the candidates “they’ve been boosting while simultaneously trying to cut down Trump for the last two years didn’t perform as they had hoped.”

“So they can’t have someone who can maybe be a representative of my father,” he continued.  He also said, “Just so we understand what we’re dealing with here. It shouldn’t surprise any of us and it’s also why Trump was 100 percent right to not go to this debate.”