Ex-aide: Trump isn't "shouting about the debate" because he's "afraid" of Kamala Harris

Trump urged president to stay in the race because he “knows that Joe Biden will lose," says Alyssa Farah Griffin

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Staff Writer

Published July 10, 2024 12:37PM (EDT)

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event at Resorts World Las Vegas on July 09, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a campaign event at Resorts World Las Vegas on July 09, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Former Trump White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin on Tuesday's episode of ABC's  "The View" made a case for why former President Donald Trump has stayed relatively mum about President Joe Biden's ostensibly floundering debate performance, an uncharacteristic pivot from his typical braggadocio. 

“There’s a reason Donald Trump isn’t out there shouting about the debate," Griffin said on Monday, adding that the former president both “knows that Joe Biden will lose to him" and "is afraid of” Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Co-host and resident legal expert Sunny Hostin expressed anxiety shared by many Americans more broadly when she noted that she felt the President is not “the same person” he was throughout his career in politics — while his fundamental policies and beliefs may not have faltered, Hostin said, his ability to orate and appear outwardly presidential has. 

“That concerns me,” she said, adding that Harris on the other hand appears “prepared,” “ready” and “presidential.” 

“If he [Biden] cannot complete a four-year term, we know we are protected,” Hostin added, claiming that the GOP are “clearly scared” of Harris as a potential Democratic candidate.

A CNN poll published last week suggested that Harris is better primed to win the 2024 presidential election against Trump than Biden. Confidence in Harris has largely surged amid concerns from pundits, Democratic lawmakers, and voters about Biden's ability to pull off a win against team MAGA. According to CNN's poll, if Biden were to bow out, Harris would have 45% of voters confidence in comparison to Trump's  47%.

Trump himself seemed to encourage Biden to remain in the running in a lengthy —although deeply sardonic — Truth Social post last week. 

“Crooked Joe Biden should ignore his many critics and move forward, with alacrity and strength, with his powerful and far reaching campaign,” Trump wrote. "He should be sharp, precise, and energetic, just like he was in The Debate, in selling his policies of Open Borders (where millions of people, including record numbers of Terrorists, are allowed to enter our Country, from prisons and mental institutions, totally unchecked and unvetted!), to Ending Social Security, Men playing in Women’s sports, High Taxes, High Interest Rates, encouraging a Woke Military, Uncontrollable Inflation, Record Setting Crime, Only Electric Vehicles, Subservience to China and other Countries, Endless Wars, putting America Last, losing our Dollar Based Standard, and so much more. Yes, Sleepy Joe should continue his campaign of American Destruction and, MAKE CHINA GREAT AGAIN!” 

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"The View" host Joy Behar spoke up in defense of the president, claiming that his seemingly age-related debate stumbles were small potatoes when contrasted against Trump's more egregious ethical and legal scandals. 

"I'm a little tired of all the Biden bashing that's going on. I'm pissed off at it, frankly. There's a lot of Biden bashing going on and no calls for the sexually abusive felon to step down," she said, speaking to Trump's spate of legal cases. 

"That's actually not true though," Griffin, who identifies as a conservative, retorted. "I've been doing it for four years. I testified against him. The fact that the public decided not to agree with it, I can't help."

"Oh, come on, I don't see anybody in the right wing telling Trump, 'Oh, you have to sit down,'" Behar argued. "You know why Trump was better at [the debate]? Because he lies. He practiced his lies for two or three years already. All he did was spew lies that we've heard over and over and over again. When you're telling the truth, Biden was trying so hard to tell the truth, it doesn't come as easily."

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"We have to admit that — if not, we're being gaslit. What I didn't like, and I'm conflicted about this, because we are facing this existential threat," said Hostin, speaking critically about the Biden administration's resistance to press queries related to news that a Parkinson's disease specialist visited the White House eight times over the course of eight months. 

"We saw something, okay?" Hostin continued. "And it's almost like, don't believe your lying eyes. I don't like that. We expect Trump to lie — he's the liar-in-chief. We do not expect Joe Biden to lie. I want him to tell the truth ... I want him to say, 'I've gotten older, I'm not as sharp as I used to be."

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg echoes Biden's own words during a recent interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, in which the president dismissed his poor showing at the debate as a "bad night." 

"He's 81, and he did have a bad night, just like I have bad nights," said Goldberg. "You can't plan a bad night. A bad night sneaks up your butt and takes you like a puppet and messes up your night."

By Gabriella Ferrigine

Gabriella Ferrigine is a staff writer at Salon. Originally from the Jersey Shore, she moved to New York City in 2016 to attend Columbia University, where she received her B.A. in English and M.A. in American Studies. Formerly a staff writer at NowThis News, she has an M.A. in Magazine Journalism from NYU and was previously a news fellow at Salon.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2024 Election Aggregate Alyssa Farrah Griffin Donald Trump Joe Biden Kamala Harris Sunny Hostin The View