The moment it was announced that former Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was going to hit up The View on Tuesday to promote her new memoir, it was a given that the result would be the type of on-air dramatics the talk show feasts upon.
Conway and her table of hosts did their level best to meet those expectations on Tuesday morning.
In Here’s the Deal, the latest Trump tell-all from an ex-administration official, Conway dishes on her time working for Donald Trump—and generally presents herself as the hero of the narrative. In her telling, for instance, then-candidate Trump mulled quitting the 2016 race following the infamous “grab ‘em by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape, only for her to explain to him why that wasn’t an option.
Throughout the book, she largely glorifies Trump while skewering his other top aides, such as his son-in-law Jared Kushner and chief of staff Mark Meadows. Though she acknowledges that Trump indeed lost the 2020 election, Conway largely blames the ex-president’s election lies on his campaign team and cranks who surrounded him.
“Rather than accepting responsibility for the loss, they played along and lent full-throated encouragement (privately, not on TV) when Trump kept insisting he won,” she wrote.
Somewhat surprisingly, Conway’s sit-down on The View began with a friendly vibe, as co-hosts Sara Haines and Joy Behar bantered with the Trump loyalist over her complaints about Kushner and her husband George’s anti-Trump social-media activity.
The congeniality was short-lived, however.
Saying she wanted to talk about the “Big Lie,” co-host Sunny Hostin noted that people around Trump “lied to him and told him he won” the election before asking Conway if she ever lied to him about winning.
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“Never,” Conway replied, prompting Hostin to press her on whether she agreed that Trump lost the election.
“I think it’s pretty obvious that Joe Biden is the president,” Conway grumbled. “I can’t believe we’re still talking about this, respectfully.”
After the hosts pointed out that Trump continues to obsess over the 2020 election and falsely claim that it was stolen from him, the former Trump aide defended herself while launching into a typical Conway-esque rant.
“I write extensively in this book, that I’m the closest person to Donald Trump to tell him, the earliest, that he came up short. It broke my heart. I wanted him to get re-elected,” she exclaimed. “He should have won huge. He had all these accomplishments, he’s running against a guy stuck in the basement, and you’re in the middle of the pandemic.”
At this point, the studio audience began booing Conway, prompting host Whoopi Goldberg to jump in and chastise her own home crowd.
“Let me do something before you say anything else,” the show’s moderator declared. “Listen, this is The View, and this is her view and she’s talking about how she feels and what she knows, please don’t boo her!”
Conway, for her part, snarked that the crowd was likely booing her for saying President Joe Biden was “staying in the basement.”
The hosts and Conway continued to battle over Trump’s rigged election lies until the show went to commercial. After it came back from break, The View only got more heated.
Guest co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former Trump spokesperson who has since denounced his attempts to overthrow Biden’s election, confronted Conway for her continued defense and praise of their mutual ex-boss.
“How do you still defend him [and] do you think he can be a good president after he tried to overturn our democracy?” Griffin wondered.
Turning the tables on Griffin, Conway pointed out that she left the administration three months before Griffin, who stayed in the White House a full month after the election.
“I wanted to help my junior staff get jobs,” Griffin contended.
“I think people should know that because I haven’t seen you since you’ve changed,” Conway shot back.
“I didn't change. I swore an oath to the Constitution, not to Donald Trump,” Griffin retorted, earning applause from the audience.
The two ex-Trump aides then engaged in a tense back-and-forth that featured Conway trashing Meadows (Griffin’s former mentor and boss) and other administration officials for steering Trump down the wrong path and Griffin taking Conway to task for continuing to support the ex-president despite an attempted insurrection.
“Alyssa, if you're saying that somehow you think we're supposed to think that you've seen the light and not just your name in lights that's not fair,” Conway sniped at one point.
“That’s such a cheap shot,” Griffin exclaimed. “You’re not answering the question!”
With the two continuing to argue and speak over each other, and time running out on the segment, Goldberg jumped in to give Behar a chance to ask one final question. Conway, however, continued to filibuster while insisting that she denounced the Jan. 6 riots.
“This is unfortunate,” Goldberg sighed, seemingly speaking for the viewing audience. “But we’re going to go if you don’t let her do the question.”