Joy Behar's Beef With The Trump Family Explained

Joy Behar has been an important voice on "The View" since 1997. The comedian has always offered her point of view with hilarious punchlines sprinkled in between her bold commentary. But in 2013, she was briefly fired from the show, which Behar later told Time in July 2022 was actually a good thing. "I was glad to be fired," she admitted. "I basically was sick of the show at that point for some reason, I don't even remember why." Luckily for fans, the on-and-off host soon returned in 2015, per Variety

Her return, of course, coincided with the 2016 presidential election, which the daytime talk show would cover extensively. When Donald Trump took on the role of president, "The View" co-hosts took on a more serious, political approach to their show. "I think that this show really took a change when Trump got in," Behar told Yahoo! Entertainment. "'Cause we used to have more laughs before he got into office." Despite the shift in tone, this comic was ready to embrace the change. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Behar still found a way to make the audience laugh while also being outspoken about her own political views. This, of course, made her a frequent challenger of Trump. 

However, feuding with the former POTUS isn't exactly territory new to the daytime host, as their history goes back decades and they've often been at odds. Let's dive into Joy Behar's ongoing beef with the Trump family.

Joy Behar once actually got along with Donald Trump

As a native New York City gal, Joy Behar was always familiar with Donald Trump. Long before the real estate mogul and host of "The Apprentice" was sworn in as president, he was a frequent guest on the daytime talk show, which Behar enjoyed at the time. However, like many of The Donald's former showbiz acquaintances, she had no idea the man would later become a divisive politician. 

"Who knew he was such a psycho?" Behar rather colorfully quipped during a 2018 interview on MSNBC's "The Beat With Ari Melber." "I liked the guy in a way. It was like, 'Oh, he's a New York character.'" Perhaps even more surprising? Behar revealed that she was even a guest at Trump's second wedding to Marla Maples back in 1993. In an appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" decades later, Behar conceded that she wasn't personally invited by Trump himself, rather she simply knew a mutual friend who was invited. 

The extravagant wedding took place at the Plaza hotel and apparently had tight security when it came to photographs. "I got up to dance and when I got back to my seat ... the film had been taken out of my camera," she recalled. "It was like the KGB was there!" Despite being a one-time wedding guest, we're pretty sure Behar was left off the guest list for Trump's 2017 inauguration.

Her jokes about The Donald's hair didn't land well

As one of the residential comedians on "The View," Joy Behar has made plenty of celebrities the butt of her jokes. While many take the harmless quips in stride, Donald Trump decided his hair was not a laughing matter. In a 2013 interview on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" (via E! News), Behar recounted how a joke she made on air about Trump wearing a wig resulted in his legal team getting involved.

After admitting, "I don't like to get in trouble with Donald," the comedian went on to read an alleged cease and desist letter sent to her by the former "Apprentice" star's lawyers. "'Trump is livid about the comment Joy made on air yesterday. He does not wear a wig. She can come over to the office and pull it and see for herself that it won't come off," the reported letter read in part. The future president even appeared on "The View" and let Behar ruffle his hair to check, and despite the appearance of him leaning into the joke, Trump still wasn't fond of Behar.

Behar later explained on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," "I then make a few more jokes about him and his hair — now he hates me again. And he puts me in his book that I have no talent." Of course, Behar isn't the only co-host on "The View" with whom Trump has had beef, as his long-running feud with former co-host Rosie O'Donnell infamously featured a nasty war of words.

Donald Trump called out The View's ratings

As Donald Trump kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign, the former host of "The Apprentice" wasn't too happy about some of the ladies of "The View" criticizing him and his political rhetoric. While most White House hopefuls appear on the daytime show to get grilled by the panel of co-hosts, Trump took, well, a different approach and slammed Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg on Twitter (back before he was banned from the social media platform).

"Whoopi Goldberg is terrible. Very sad!" Trump tweeted (via Business Insider). "Joy Behar, who was fired from her last show for lack of ratings, is even worse on ['The View']," he added, referencing HLN's short-lived series "The Joy Behar Show."

Despite the not-so-nice callout on Twitter, Behar wasn't fazed by Trump's negative comments. Soon after, she told Larry King that it was practically a badge of honor to have him tweet about her. "The New York Times published this whole list of people that he's tweeted nasty stuff against," she explained. "I'm on the list. I'm so proud! It's like being on Nixon's enemy's list." Basically, if Trump thought that tweet was going to scare off a seasoned comedian like Behar from criticizing him, he was sadly mistaken.

Donald Trump Jr.'s accusation against Joy Behar

When Donald Trump Jr. made an appearance on "The View" in 2019, we imagine everyone tuning in made some proverbial popcorn, knowing it would make for some good television. With a panel that was mostly critical of his then-president father, it was bound to be an interview filled with tension between guest and co-hosts. So when they began to question Donald Trump's character, Trump Jr. quickly jumped to his defense by bringing up a controversial Halloween costume that Joy Behar once wore decades earlier. 

"We've all done things that we regret. I mean, if we're talking about bringing a discourse down, Joy, you wore blackface," he claimed. At this, a visibly angry Behar claimed that she hadn't, and co-host Whoopi Goldberg also stepped in at her defense. "She was not in blackface," Goldberg told Trump Jr. "Being Black, I recognize blackface — this I can say." As one would guess, this heated interview didn't end on a positive note. In fact, Trump Jr. later accused the co-hosts of treating him unfairly while appearing on "The Cats Roundtable" on AM970. "You could see very quickly they went aggressive fast," he alleged (via Yahoo! Entertainment). "They tried to smear me, to try to besmirch my father and my family."

Behar continued to deny the blackface allegation. "For me, it was like, 'Look at how pretty I can look as a woman dressed like this,'" she told Time in 2022, describing the 1970s costume. "It wasn't anything close to blackface. It was bronzer, which I used with my natural curly hair."

She criticized Melania Trump's anti-cyberbullying platform

Even before Donald Trump was elected commander-in-chief in 2016, Joy Behar wasn't about to let future first lady Melania Trump off the hook when she announced an anti-cyberbullying campaign. Behar essentially scoffed at the idea during a "Hot Topics" segment on "The View," according to Entertainment Weekly. Joking that the whole premise of Melania's planned platform seemed hypocritical, Behar said, "So my question is if she wants to fight cyberbullying, shouldn't she delete her husband's Twitter account?"

As previously mentioned, the comedian was speaking from experience, as she and her colleagues were on the receiving end of one of Donald's mean tweets earlier that year as he kickstarted his campaign. But this wasn't the only time Behar would speak out against Melania. In 2018, the first lady's chief spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, even took to Twitter to clap back at the ladies of "The View" for allegedly being "disrespectful & hypocritical while mocking someone's accent." During the mostly playful segment in question, the co-hosts cited Melania's controversies and apparent hypocrisy over her statement in response to an infamous op-ed in The New York Times from an anonymous Trump official criticizing the administration's inner workings, per Deadline.

Behar continued to call out Melania, including insulting her past modeling career in Slovenia, on CNN's "The Van Jones Show" the following day. "@JoyVBehar ... this is getting borderline obsessive," Grisham tweeted in response, alongside a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt for the Trump family foe to bear in mind: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

Joy Behar also slammed the Trump kids' 'mediocrities'

Clearly not a fan of Donald Trump or his wife and children, Joy Behar vehemently disagreed with the Trump family being considered a dynasty during a 2019 "Hot Topics" segment on "The View." "This family is filled with mediocrities," she claimed. "Trump, to his credit, is a hideous, charismatic con man — that has a little potential for something. These other ones have nothing." 

The co-hosts then questioned Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump's potential impact on politics and whether they would be able to hold onto power once their father left office. Abby Huntsman expressed sympathy for their upbringing, particularly mentioning daughter Ivanka, leading Behar to openly roll her eyes and scoff, before suggesting that Ivanka should do more to help the country instead of vying for her father's acceptance. Ouch. 

This wasn't the first or last time Behar had openly criticized Ivanka. When discussing her being asked to cooperate with the January 6 House committee in January 2022, Behar believed it would be very unlikely. While Ivanka did testify for eight hours in the Capitol Insurrection investigation that April, "The View" panel previously claimed that she might be more concerned with protecting her father and her financial interests. "She's like any other daughter of a mob family," Behar said. "She's like Victoria Gotti." 

That time Joy Behar grilled Melania Trump on her husband

Back in 2011, Melania Trump made a rare public appearance on Joy Behar's HLN talk show, aptly titled "The Joy Behar Show." The future first lady was there to promote her latest jewelry line, but Behar grilled her guest about Donald Trump potentially running for president, as well as "The Apprentice" host's ongoing false accusation that then-President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S., but rather in Kenya, and therefore ineligible to be POTUS. Of course, this allegation has been disproved by Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate.

However, Melania vehemently defended her husband's controversial stance, which has long been deemed racist, and even hinted that she believed in the so-called "birther" conspiracy theory, too. "It's not only Donald who wants to see it," Melania alleged of the birth certificate. "It's American people who voted for him and who didn't vote for him. They want to see that." The titular host pushed back on her claims, suggesting, "I think you should give it up."

In 2018, after the Trumps moved into the White House, Behar brought this interview up again while speaking to the administration's short-lived director of communications, Anthony Scaramucci, on "The View" while explaining her stance on Melania. "She's lovely, but we can't really like her 100%, because she is a 'birther' like her husband," she explained. "I interviewed her on my HLN and that's where we made news on that. ... She's on the same page with him on a lot of issues. So she's not off the hook!"

Ivanka Trump made a deal with Joy Behar

In September 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, President Donald Trump promised Americans that a life-saving vaccine would quickly be underway. According to ABC News, POTUS even predicted that it'd be ready for the public in less than two months — just before election day. The swift proposed timeline led some to be skeptical, including one Joy Behar. While discussing the vaccine on "The View," the comedian essentially called his bluff, noting the standard research and development time other vaccines required in comparison to how fast he was claiming to roll out this one. "He will push anything to get reelected," Behar told the audience. "Don't fall for it. And by the way, I will take the vaccine after Ivanka takes it." 

That throwaway comment may have been a joke, but Ivanka Trump was ready to accept the challenge. She directly addressed the "The View" co-host on Twitter with, "Deal @JoyVBehar. I would come on your show to do so. I trust the FDA and so should all Americans. Vanquishing this virus should be our collective top priority." It should be noted that neither party ever made good on that deal, and as we all know now, The Donald's proposed goal was indeed not met before election day 2020.

That said, when Ivanka shared an Instagram photo of herself receiving her first dose in April 2021 and encouraged others to do so, Behar and her colleagues were somewhat begrudgingly impressed. "OK, she's a little late, but I'll give it to her," Behar said (via Yahoo! News).

The View co-host took back some of her comments

Comedians are known to push the envelope to make a point, and Joy Behar's jokes about Donald Trump occasionally go too far. Per The Washington Times, Behar was discussing his lack of response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Florence headed for the Carolinas in a 2018 episode of "The View" when she had an admitted slip of the tongue: "This man will never apologize, if he lives another 20 years, God forbid — not God forbid," she said, quickly correcting herself. Understanding how that comment could be perceived, Behar later explained, "The last segment, I don't wish the president ill. I really don't. I just want him out. I didn't mean that — what I said." 

Another Behar remark that caught some heat came in June 2020 after Trump referred to nationwide Black Lives Matter protestors as "domestic terrorists" following the death of George Floyd. "He has the nerve to call anybody a domestic terrorist. He's the domestic terrorist," Behar said during the segment, before mentioning Trump's impeachment and the arrests or convictions of some former colleagues. When Whoopi Goldberg asked Behar to clarify her remarks, she responded, "I mean, I'll get in trouble for calling him a domestic terrorist — he won't get in trouble for calling innocent people domestic terrorists. That's the irony of this conversation. So, I take it back."

The prompt walk-back appeared to leave frequent verbal sparring buddy Meghan McCain surprised, but despite her long-running feud with the Trump family, Behar doesn't seem to mind apologizing when need be.

Joy Behar doesn't have high hopes for another Trump presidency

After living through four years of Donald Trump's one-term presidency, and the fallout from the 2020 presidential election, Joy Behar isn't exactly looking forward to The Donald potentially running again. However, the former POTUS has continued to hint that he might just do so in 2024. 

Following his first bold declaration in February 2021, Behar thought Trump's chances were slim. "I don't think that he will run again in 2024, unless he does it from Rikers Island," she joked on "The View" (via Yahoo! Entertainment). "There's a precedent already set in the world. It's not like, oh, we can't imagine a former president under arrest ... yes, we can." This, of course, was in reference to Trump's ongoing legal issues, which would soon include New York investigations into the Trump Organization's alleged fraud, a Department of Justice's seizure of allegedly classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago, and a subpoena to testify in the House committee's investigation into the Capitol riots.

Clearly, Behar's feud with the Trump family is far from over, as of this writing, and we imagine longtime watchers of "The View" have enjoyed every second of it. So, whether or not Donald Trump decides to run for office again, we can all at least expect an outspoken Joy Behar to be speaking out against him along the way. Despite angering some Trump supporters, the comedian has rarely backed down. "I just say what I say," she told Time magazine in 2022. "And then they're upset with me. I'm their favorite target over at Breitbart and Fox."