Charlie Kirk, Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle speak at Penn State as a stop on the Turning Point USA Campus Clash tour on April 23, 2019.
Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle joined conservative activist Charlie Kirk as special guests Tuesday night on his Campus Clash tour stop at Penn State, speaking in front of a packed crowd of more than 700 in the Thomas building.
Rallying chants of “U-S-A” rang through the high-energy crowd dotted with “Make America Great Again” hats and related Trump gear. The event was heavily policed inside and outside the venue, with campus police and secret service lining the room.
Main discussion points throughout the event included the state of the economy and job market and the recent release and aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion investigation report released last week.
“There’s no obstruction, nothing that I haven’t been screaming for two years,” Trump Jr. said.
Speakers also discussed the ways they feel conservative voices and opinions are crushed on college campuses.
“There are real-life consequences to being a conservative and being vocal about it,” Trump Jr. said. “They’ve been demonized, bastardized and hit left and right by the fake news media who are saying they’re terrible people for wanting jobs.”
The forum was hosted by the Penn State chapter of Turning Point USA, a nonprofit organization created by Kirk in 2012 to, according to its website, “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government.”
Kirk, 25, has grown Turning Point USA into the largest and fastest growing youth organization in the country and has appeared on networks like Fox News and CNBC as well as conducting an interview with President Trump at a recent young leaders summit.
Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality and “The Five” co-host, have been in a relationship since Trump Jr.’s ex-wife filed for divorce in March. Penn State will be their only appearance on the Campus Clash tour, which features stops at other universities such as Louisiana State and South Carolina.
While many in the crowd supported the trio and cheered throughout the event, about a half dozen people were escorted out by police throughout the night for heckling or protesting.
“You know, it’s so amazing how angry the left is,” Kirk said in response to a heckler. “The left, the campus left in particular, they preach tolerance when in reality they are the most intolerant.”
One protestor called out the question and answer panel, claiming that Turning Point was pre-screening questions from social media and only choosing the ones they liked to ask, saying that he wanted to get in line and ask a question himself.
“This is the problem right, that ‘I’m so special’ entitlement mentality that they think their voice, their question is more important than people’s who followed the process and submitted it like we asked,” Guilfoyle said in response.
“You only pick questions that you like,” the protestor shouted before being escorted out by police.
Turning Point USA’s Penn State Chapter president Michael Csencsits expected hecklers and said at the beginning of the event that their support of free speech carries through even to those who “disrupt the process.”
“Because we are such a big supporter of free speech, we strongly encourage people to disagree with us,” Csencsits said.
For Penn State student Rocco Grimaldi, the event was a welcome change to the challenges he said he faces on campus as a Trump supporter. His professors lean more liberal and often make fun of Trump and other Republican leaders, he said.
“Just the things they say about Trump (in class) and then people roll their eyes,” Grimaldi said. “It’s just nice to know other people have this good way and platform to have a way for people to come together.”
The speakers also discussed the presidency of Trump Jr.’s father.
“He has been the best president for the economy that we have seen,” Guilfoyle said. “When you graduate, you will actually be able to get a job in this economy. That is a big, big deal because we didn’t have that before.”
As for 2020, Trump Jr. said he thinks it will be the “easiest re-election in the history of the world.”
“The left has gotten used to being able to have those wins because the right never had a backbone. We’re changing that, it’s important,” he said.