Donald Trump Jr. tried to address a crowd of more than 800 people at UF on Thursday evening.
Instead, he found himself bickering with protesters in the audience.
UF ACCENT Speakers Bureau hosted Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle — his girlfriend and a senior adviser on President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign — in a keynote presentation on Thursday night at the University Auditorium.
ACCENT paid both speakers a total of $50,000, which comes from $19.06 per credit hour students pay each semester.
ACCENT originally scheduled a 15-minute Q&A, but became nervous of protestors hijacking the microphone, said Cameron Gittler, assistant director of productions. The speakers selected questions from a Twitter hashtag instead.
Trump Jr. highlighted some of the accomplishments of his father’s administration, such as the declining number of Americans on food stamps and record-low unemployment rates for minorities. He also mentioned the danger that socialism and communism brought to countries such as China and Venezuela.
He occasionally stopped speaking to confront protesters yelling over him.
“What is interesting about ideas is that your ideas can’t be all that good if you’re not willing to let other people speak theirs,” Trump Jr. said.
Guilfoyle just said “I have a dream—“ and protestors got extremely agitated. They are chanting “BULLSHIT!” while supporters are chanting “USA” to drown out their screams. Her response? “Your parents must be so proud.” @TheAlligator— Ana M. Escalante (@AEscalante22) October 10, 2019
When Guilfoyle began a sentence with “I have a dream,” people in the audience became agitated, chanting “Bull****!” To drown out their cries, supporters repeated, “USA! USA! USA!”
She continued to speak, but the chants from the audience made the rest of her statement inaudible.
“Oh, your parents must be so proud,” she said in response.
Florida Sen. Keith Perry, Gator Party President Emily Dunson and Student Body President Michael Murphy attended the event.
Guilfoyle spoke about being the senior adviser to the president after years of hard work. As a first-generation Latin American, she said she lives her life free of the victimhood that plagues some on the other side of the political spectrum.
Before the speech, Raemi Eagle-Glenn, a Gainesville attorney, waved a Trump flag almost twice her size.
Her cousin got it for her at Trump’s election night party in 2016. She’s plans to vote for him again.
“I’m here because I’m a feminist, because I believe in going against the crowd and fighting for our national sovereignty and for our economic freedom,” Eagle-Glenn said.
Protestors aren’t calming down anytime soon. “C’mon guys, you got a big game tomorrow. Go play beer-pong if you don’t want to hear me speak,” is Trump Jr.’s response. Protestors just got louder after he said that. #UFTrumpJrGuilfoyle— Ana M. Escalante (@AEscalante22) October 10, 2019
#CHOMPTRUMP organizers said Michael Murphy’s ties to the Trump campaign were a conflict of interest. Murphy’s father, Dan Murphy, a former UF lobbyist, maxed out contributions and has been spotted with Trump Jr. this year, according to Politico. Murphy wrote there was “no conflict of interest,” in an email to The Alligator earlier this week.
Trump Jr. directly thanked Murphy during his 30-minute-long speech.
“Thanks University of Florida and the Gators, Mike Murphy, ACCENT Speakers Bureau, for having us out here today,” Trump Jr. said “Honestly guys, that takes guts and we appreciate it because that voice isn’t heard often on college campuses these days.”