Whoopi Goldberg could barely keep herself from laughing as she introduced Tuesday’s guest co-host on The View: Newt Gingrich.
The former Republican House Speaker, who led the charge for President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, was there to promote his new book, the title of which Goldberg couldn’t bring herself to say aloud. (She called it “You-Know-Who vs. China: Facing America’s Greatest Threat.”)
Goldberg began the conversation with Trump’s latest tweet on impeachment. Instead of calling it a “witch hunt,” the president is now referring to the official inquiry as a “lynching.” As the audience groaned, Goldberg shook her head and said, “It's a word that nobody, you know, wants to hear. This was not a good choice of words for him, do you think?”
Without missing a beat, Gingrich replied, “Well, it's exactly the same term that Clarance Thomas used when he said he was guilty of a white-collar lynching.” No one bothered to correct him that the Supreme Court justice actually used the term “high-tech lynching” to describe the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by Anita Hill during his confirmation hearings.
Asked by Goldberg if it was “right then,” Gingrich said, “I think it was right, sure.” Then he urged the co-hosts to “put yourself for a second in Trump’s shoes,” painting the president as an upstanding do-gooder who just can’t catch a break. “I think part of what you have is a guy here who's just really deeply frustrated that no matter where he turns, you know, the fight keeps going on,” he said.
The conversation drifted away from the “lynching” comment for a few moments, but then Goldberg brought it back. “Listen, Newt, you and I have known each other a long time,” she said, “and when a giant six-foot white guy says, I'm being lynched here, you understand why it's a little bit like, listen man, you're not being lynched here, you are being held to the standard we’re supposed to be holding every president to.”
In response, Gingrich announced that he was going to be “very politically incorrect” before arguing that “most of the early American movies on lynching were about lynching white people.”
“You know, it may not be a totally black experience,” Goldberg allowed, “but we're kind of the only folks that didn't come out from under the experience that was put on us, as you well know.”
After some further pressing, Gingrich ultimately admitted that he did not actually think it was appropriate for Trump to use the word “lynching” but was instead reflexively defending his team. “No, look, I've been comfortable just calling it a witch hunt and a kangaroo court and things like that, I haven't gone up to that next level.”