NEW YORK – Donald Trump has weighed in on Wednesday's war of words between Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O'Donnell, surprisingly taking O’Donnell’s side while still managing to insult both co-hosts of "The View" and to voice his opposition to the war in Iraq.
“On this one I think Rosie should win, but Rosie is not much herself. I think anybody that’s against the war in Iraq is the winner of the fight, because to justify the war in Iraq — only an imbecile could do that," he told "Extra."
About Hasselbeck’s political views, especially on the war in Iraq, he added, “Elisabeth is not a very smart person, she’s one of the dumber people in television. To see that she supports the war, and she’s solidly behind the war, give me a break.”
Trump later told reporters that Hasselbeck was "probably the dumbest person on TV."
In response to Hasselbeck calling him obnoxious, he said, “Well I am obnoxious, on that she’s right.”
On whether Trump thinks the fight has forced O’Donnell to quit the ABC talk show before her last day on the air, which is scheduled for June 22, he said, “I think Rosie will be back” and added, “She’s self-destructing, and it’s too bad.”
Watching O'Donnell and Hasselbeck squabble on "The View" is nothing new, but Wednesday's dustup seemed particularly nasty with the co-hosts trading accusations and personal digs.
A political discussion over the war in Iraq became heated when an angry O'Donnell decried Hasselbeck for not standing up for her when media outlets suggested that she'd called U.S. troops "terrorists" during a previous debate.
"What you did was not defend me. ... I asked you if you believed what the Republican pundits were saying — you said nothing, and that's cowardly," O'Donnell said.
Responded a stern Hasselbeck: "Do not call me a coward, because No. 1, I sit here every single day, open my heart and tell people what I believe."
O'Donnell and Hasselbeck were shown on a split screen as the argument progressed without commercial interruption.
"Do you believe that I think our troops are terrorists? And you would not even look me in the face, Elisabeth, and say, 'No, Rosie,'" O'Donnell said.
Responded Hasselbeck: "Because you are an adult, and I am certainly not going to be the person for you to explain your thoughts. They're your thoughts! Defend your own insinuations!"
O'Donnell, who is leaving the ABC daytime talk show next month, said she wasn't going to fight anymore. "So for three weeks, you can say all the Republican crap you want."
Hasselbeck discussed the war of words in an interview with syndicated entertainment show "Extra."
"I honestly think, I believe that we are mature women who can resolve," she said. "I hope we can. I would hope that a disagreement or a heated debate wouldn't be the end of a relationship."
In a posting on her blog, O'Donnell wrote: "a split screen, new heights, or lows, depending on who u ask."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.