Joy Behar labels Trump a 'domestic terrorist,' takes it back at Whoopi's prompting

"The View" co-host Joy Behar described President Trump as a "domestic terrorist" on Thursday, before later walking back the criticism.

Behar first accused Trump of hypocrisy for using that term while referring to allegedly "peaceful" protesters in Seattle.

"As a matter of fact, he has the nerve to call anybody a domestic terrorist," she said. "He's the domestic terrorist. He's the one who's been impeached for obstructing justice in this country. He's the one who has friends who are in jail. Roger Stone's in jail. Michael Flynn's in jail. Michael Cohen is in jail," she added, referring to Trump's former attorney and advisers.

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is not in jail and the Justice Department recently moved to dismiss its case against him. Cohen was recently released to home confinement due to the coronavirus outbreak, while Stone is set to report to prison by June 30.

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Behar's comments came after the president ordered Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to take back his city from "domestic terrorists" amid George Floyd protests.

Co-host Whoopi Goldberg later asked Behar to clarify her claim that Trump is a domestic terrorist.

"Um.. yeah, I guess," Behar responded. "I mean, I'm not calling anybody names like he does. It's just that it seems ironic that he would be calling people domestic terrorists. 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, I take it back."

Co-host Sunny Hostin similarly accused the president of calling "peaceful" protesters domestic terrorists.

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The U.S. government definition of domestic terrorism requires it to be dangerous to human life," Hostin said. "But I think he's trying to invoke the term domestic terrorist so that he can use military intervention ... it's really a shocking description of Americans exercising their Constitutional rights and I think people should be very fearful of that."

Trump issued his tweet on Wednesday night. It's unclear whether he was specifically referring to alleged terrorism that night or from prior nights. The Seattle Times reported that on Tuesday, demonstrator hung a banner claiming a police station was "PROPERTY OF THE SEATTLE PEOPLE."

Protesters also set up an "autonomous zone," which the Times described as a "new protest society." The New York Times described the resulting atmosphere as "an experiment in life without police," although it claims the protest zone "has increasingly functioned with the tacit blessing of the city."

Seattle Police, however, say they've received "reports of citizens and businesses being asked to pay a fee to operate within this area."

"This is the crime of extortion," Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette added. "If anyone has been subjected to this, we need them to call 911."

Police say they’re looking to reopen a precinct that was shuttered during ongoing George Floyd protests. At a news conference Wednesday, Nollette said barriers were removed from the front of the precinct after it became a flashpoint between officers and protesters.

Nollette said the precinct has been boarded up because of credible threats that it would be vandalized or burned. She said police want to discuss reopening the precinct and noted officers are responding to 911 calls in the area.

Nollette said protesters have set up their own barricades, which are intimidating to some residents.

While peaceful protests have occurred in Seattle, demonstrators have also engaged in violent activities like looting. For example, King 5 News, an NBC affiliate, reported that "[a]t least 55 people were arrested after a peaceful protest turned violent in downtown Seattle Saturday."

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Footage also surfaced showing destroyed or vandalized storefronts and fires blazing on the street.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.