ABC’s hit talk show The View waited until the end of Thursday’s broadcast to officially announce what had been apparent for weeks now: anti-Trump ex-Trumper Alyssa Farah Griffin will permanently fill the show’s conservative seat left vacant by Meghan McCain’s departure last summer.
The show also announced longtime guest host Ana Navarro, a similarly anti-Trump conservative CNN political commentator who was also in the running for McCain’s old spot, will remain with the show as an “official co-host.” The Daily Mail first reported on Thursday morning that Navarro signed a new multi-year deal with The View. Variety also reported on Thursday that veteran host Sunny Hostin recently inked a multi-year deal.
“If anyone had ever told me I would be sitting at a table with Whoopi Goldberg, I would have said, you are crazy,” Farah Griffin beamed after being introduced as the new host on Thursday. “It is such an honor to be with you ladies every day on this set, and it’s particularly exciting for me today.”
She added: “If there's one thing I believe, it’s that there’s more that unites this country than divides it, and I think that we can demonstrate at this table what our elected leaders often can't, which is disagreeing, but doing so respectively, doing so in a fact-based manner. We don't need any of these, you know, conspiracies and lies that have taken over so much of the right.”
Farah Griffin also noted that the past couple of years had been “turbulent” for her, noting that she “lost a lot of friends” and had become “estranged” from family after speaking out against the Trump administration.
Navarro, meanwhile, said that “this is not the right time for me or for the show to make it full-time” as a host while announcing her new deal with the program.
The Daily Beast reported last week that the network was set to name Farah Griffin as a permanent addition to the show’s cast and was likely to officially announce the decision sometime this week, when the current season wraps. The 26th season of the weekday chat show will kick off next month.
The former Trump White House spokesperson has seen her appearances on the program grow in frequency in recent months. Following McCain’s exit after a largely acrimonious four-year tenure, ABC News held live auditions for a new right-leaning panelist. Aside from Farah Griffin, the show tried out other conservative media personalities like fellow ex-Trump press secretary Stephanie Grisham, Condoleezza Rice, former NFL sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, and CNN pundit Mary Katharine Ham, among others.
Farah Griffin, who resigned from the Trump White House a month before the Jan. 6 insurrection, had been a loyal face within the administration. After stints as the press secretary for both Vice President Mike Pence and the Department of Defense, she moved over to the White House’s press office. However, following the Capitol attacks and the ex-president’s subsequent impeachment, she quickly became an outspoken critic of Trump and his election denialism.
While Farah Griffin’s about-face has resulted in a CNN contributor gig and now a seat on a popular daytime talk show, her media career rehab has been met with some skepticism from colleagues.
Last month, The Daily Beast’s Confider newsletter reported that famed comic Wanda Sykes backed out of a scheduled appearance on The View after she found out Farah Griffin would be hosting that day. “She didn’t want to be part of helping a Trumper launder her reputation,” a source said at the time.
Confider also revealed the following week that a CNN star requested that the network’s producers not book them alongside the ex-Trump flack, adding that they did not want to lend any credibility to Farah Griffin’s career rehab.
At the same time, Farah Griffin has received plaudits for her even-keeled and thoughtful on-air presence, a stark contrast to her predecessor at The View’s roundtable. McCain, whose tenure was sparked by seemingly never-ending controversy, has spent much of post-View time sniping at her ex-colleagues and generally trashing the show that helped make her a household name.