"Shall I call it the 'QAnon Party'?": Joy Behar's grilling sends Megan McCain scrambling

"The View" co-host sparred on Tuesday over the Republican Party's rapid devolution

By Jon Skolnik

Staff Writer

Published May 18, 2021 5:40PM (EDT)

Meghan McCain; Joy Behar (YouTube/The View)
Meghan McCain; Joy Behar (YouTube/The View)

Emotions ran high on Tuesday's episodeof ABC's "The View," when co-host Meghan McCain unleashed a confusing fury on her fellow colleague after Joy Behar criticized the GOP for not disavowing embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the face of mounting evidence that Gaetz may have had sex with an underage girl. 

On Monday, Gaetz's former friend Joel Greenberg, pleaded guilty to six criminal charges, including sex trafficking, alleging that both he and Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl. Republicans have, however, have stayed overwhelmingly quiet on the matter. When "View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked Behar why she thought the Republican Party was keeping its mouth shut, Behar replied: "Well, because the only sin that you commit in the Republican Party these days is if you say that Biden won the election. Everything else is fine."

"This all adds up to bad news for Gaetz, but he's out there, you know, having fun, enjoying himself, making jokes about it because he feels like he has cover in the Republican Party," she continued. "Because as I said, they don't care what you do there as long as you say that [Donald] Trump won the election. Look at what happened to Liz Cheney."

McCain, a loud and proud Republican, was immediately brought into a state of ire.

"Well, first of all, I have family members and good friends who all work on Capitol Hill in Republican politics," she ranted at Behar, "and trust me, the Republican Party and people on Capitol Hill are embarrassed by this. So, I think I have a lot better sourcing on that than you do, Joy. No offense."

McCain added that her sister-in-law, Emily Domenech, who works for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is privy to "a lot about what's going on in Capitol Hill."

But Behar didn't back down. "My question is, if it's not the Republican Party, shall I call it the 'QAnon Party'?" Behar responded. "What should I call your party now who defends people like Matt Gaetz and goes against Liz Cheney?"

McCain, now shouting, raged: "I think you can call it whatever you want because your influence in the Republican Party is almost zero, and again, as I've said on this show, it is for us to figure out amongst ourselves."

Behar went on to question McCain about why the party hasn't removed Gaetz from his committee positions, to which McCain rambled: "Because they have to convict him or whatever—I'm not a lawyer. What is it they have to do—police have to arrest him. I don't know, um, police have to arrest him and charge him. That's why he's still in Congress."

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was not criminally convicted or accused of anything before she was ousted from her role as the party's conference chair for criticizing former President Trump. McCain, however, claimed in the segment that her ouster was "a different thing."

"You saying the Republican Party is trash is—I don't care!" McCain shouted. "It is irrelevant to me! Who cares?" Who cares? You say it every single day! Every single day! Oh my God!" 

Eventually, a frazzled Goldberg managed to jump in and stop the chaos in its tracks. "OK, we're going to break. We're going to break," Goldberg said.

By Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, and The New York Daily News.

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Clip Donald Trump Gaetz Gop Joy Behar Meghan Mccain Qanon Republican Party The View Trump's Big Lie