On Tuesday, the pro-Trump student group Turning Point USA formally issued a cease-and-desist letter to ABC News over “defamatory statements” that were made against the group by two hosts of the talk show “The View” earlier in the week.
Fox News reports that the group’s letter said, in part, that “the false statements of fact intentionally made during The View’s July 25th segment were unquestionably harmful to TPUSA’s reputation and brought the organization and its student affiliates into disrepute with the public, potential donors, and current and future business partners, posing a significant financial loss to the organization.”
The letter, addressed to ABC News’ New York bureau chief Joshua Hoyos and assistant chief counsel Ian Rosenberg, took issue with “false, derogatory, and defamatory statements” made by co-hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg.
As Turning Point, the largest and most influential conservative student organization in the country, was holding its annual “Student Action Summit” in Florida last weekend, the hosts falsely claimed that the group was directly connected to the Republican Party, and also compared the organization and its attendees to neo-Nazis.
“Neo-Nazis were out there in the front of the conference with antisemitic slurs and, you know, the Nazi swastika and a picture of a so-called Jewish person with exaggerated features, just like Goebbels did during the Third Reich,” Behar said, showing images of protesters who were outside the event, not part of it. “It’s the same thing, right out of that same playbook.”
Behar then claimed that Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) “did nothing” about the protesters, despite the fact that DeSantis spoke at the event the day before the protesters first appeared.
Later in the same episode, the show was forced to read a legal disclaimer on-air admitting that Turning Point had condemned the protesters. But Goldberg doubled down, falsely claiming that the group “let them in, and you knew what they were,” before adding that “my point was metaphorical.”
“The View hosts intentionally and falsely associated TPUSA with neo-Nazi protestors outside the event placing TPUSA in denigrating and false light and negatively impacting its public perception,” the cease-and-desist letter read. “Such action will not be tolerated.”
The assertion that TPUSA is complicit or affiliated in any way with the neo-Nazi protesters outside the event is outlandish, false, defamatory, and disgraceful,” the letter continued. “Even after Ms. Haines reluctantly read the TPUSA statement that it condemns the group of neo-Nazis and that the group had nothing to do with TPUSA…Ms. Goldberg continues the false tirade against TPUSA, asserting that somehow the organization and its attendees were ‘complicit’ and/or associated with the outside protest.”
The letter gave ABC until July 27th to issue a formal retraction and apology for the statements. ABC has still not responded to a request for comment.
“Should ABC decide not to comply with the demands above, TPUSA is prepared to promptly take all steps necessary to protect its rights, including pursuing all available legal remedies, seeking monetary and non-monetary damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs,” the letter concluded.