'The View' (finally) replaces Meghan McCain with conservative co-host and another familiar face

Erin Jensen
USA TODAY

"The View" has filled its conservative seat, up for grabs after Meghan McCain's August 2021 exit. And made one familiar face a permanent host, although she will not always be present at the table. 

The ABC daytime panel talk show announced Thursday that Alyssa Farah Griffin, former White House director of strategic communications and assistant to former president Donald Trump, has a seat at the table when the show returns for its 26th season in September. 

And Ana Navarro, a commentator and political strategist, will also become another co-host, joking the show was "finally putting a ring on it" after her roles as guest co-host and contributor.

Farah Griffin, 33, and Navarro, 50, will join moderator Joy BeharWhoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin. Friday marks the show's season finale, followed by a late-summer break. 

Farah Griffin appeared on Thursday's show, telling her co-hosts that "The last couple of years have been a bit turbulent for me.  I worked for an administration that I ended up speaking out against fervently and continue to daily. That changes a lot in your life. I lost a lot of friends. I'm estranged from family members. But I have to say this: I am so proud to have found my voice. I was a president's spokesperson, I was a vice president's spokesperson, I was way too many Republican men's of Congress spokesperson. But now it is my voice, and I'm here to just join this table (and) hopefully bring a different perspective."

New "View" co-host, Ana Navarro

Navarro, who began appearing as a contributor in 2015, said the show was "finally putting a ring on it." The CNN commentator and Republican strategist joined the cast in 2018 as a guest co-host to fill in for Goldberg on Fridays. She continued to act as Goldberg's replacement in 2019 while the longtime moderator recovered from pneumonia, and continued to serve as a contributor.

"I've thought about it long and hard," Navarro said of her decision. "I, and we at this table have spent a lot of time talking about representation. And that means that when a little Latina immigrant girl born in Chinandega, Nicaragua, who came to this country at the age of 8 as a political refugee and found her home here, gets the opportunity and the chance to have a platform, you grab it with both hands and you run with it."

Navarro's appearances will be similar to Season 25, while Farah Griffin will appear on the program daily.

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Alyssa Farah Griffin, who has served as a guest host on "The View," has been named a permanent host of the long-running ABC daytime talk show.

Since "The View" debuted in 1997, the series has had 22 permanent hosts, with turnover quickening around 2013. With short stints by Nicolle Wallace, Candace Cameron Bure, Jedediah Bila and Abby Huntsman, the show struggled to find an enduring conservative voice.

The show's choice of Farah Griffin is not free from controversy. Earlier reports of herhiring inspired some Twitter users to adopt #BoycottTheView in response due to her actions as part of the Trump administration, from which she resigned in December 2020. She explained in a January 2021 interview with Politico that she decided to leave because she couldn't back Trump's proclamation of a stolen election.

"I wasn’t comfortable being a part of sharing this message to the public that the election results might go a different way," she said. "I didn’t see that to be where the facts lay."

Farah Griffin also testified before the Jan. 6 congressional hearings in June, and put former aide Cassidy Hutchinson in touch with Rep. Liz Cheney, according to Farah Griffin. 

On January 6, 2021, she encouraged Trump to condemn the insurrection at the Capitol in a tweet, telling the president: "You are the only one they will listen to. For our country!" 

Farah Griffin, 33, explained her political beliefs to Politico. "I identify as a constitutional conservative; somebody who believes in limited government, free markets, a strong national defense budget and ultimately that we should adhere to the Constitution," she said. "But what is dangerous is when you have heightened rhetoric that is so divisive and that makes people feel that it’s us versus them at all times rather than we’re one America; we’re a unified nation."

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Alyssa Farah Griffin, with her “View” co-host Sunny Hostin, in an episode that aired May 24, 2022.

McCain, 37, reflected on the factors that played into her decision to exit "The View" after four seasons in an interview with USA TODAY last October. 

McCain butted heads with her liberal counterparts, especially Goldberg and Behar. On her second day back from maternity leave (after welcoming daughter Liberty in September 2020), Behar memorably told McCain: "I did not miss you. Zero." 

"I was just deeply humiliated and heartbroken, and I felt really worthless," McCain said. "I felt like I was like not being a great mom, and I was also not being great at my job. And then countered with what I was going through with postpartum anxiety, I had a panic attack in my office, and I threw up, and I couldn't stop crying, and it just was the catalyst for the end for me. That was when I decided I was leaving the show.

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