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It was a battle of the ex-Trump staffers on The View Tuesday morning, as Kellyanne Conway and Alyssa Farah Griffin threw down over their former boss. When Griffin asked why Conway has yet to denounce Trump, all hell broke loose at the table, and the two began slinging insults at each other about how they've "changed" since leaving the administration.
Conway's interview only lasted two segments, but time seemed to drag on as she voiced her continued support for Trump, who she believes lost the 2020 election due to a mismanaged campaign. "It broke my heart. I wanted him to get reelected. I only wish that the people who were in charge of his campaign, with the $1.4 billion that they wasted, had won outright and overwhelmingly," she said. "He should have won huge. He had all these accomplishments, he's running against a guy who's stuck in the basement, and you're in the middle of a pandemic."
In a rare moment, the studio audience loudly booed Conway, but Whoopi Goldberg shut it down. "Listen, this is The View, and this is her view and she's talking about how she feels and what she knows," said the longtime moderator. "Please don't boo her."
.@KellyannePolls tells #TheView she "never" lied to former Pres. Trump about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.— The View (@TheView) May 24, 2022
"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 reelected," she adds. pic.twitter.com/EfzfNh0FiX
After the commercial break — and after Conway evaded Sunny Hostin's questions about why Trump continues to perpetuate the Big Lie — Griffin, who worked with Conway in the Trump White House, asked how she can "still defend him" after the January 6 insurrection. "Do you still think he could be a good president after he tried to turn our democracy?" said Griffin, with dramatic emphasis.
"So, I left three months before you did, for my children ... I think you stayed a whole month after the election that you were having a problem with," said Conway (Griffin left in December 2020, as Trump's election fraud claims intensified). "People should know that, because I haven't seen you since you changed."
"I didn't change!" replied Griffin. "Just to be clear, I swore an oath to the Constitution, not to Donald Trump."
The remark earned Griffin a round of applause from the audience, but it didn't deter Conway. She slammed Griffin's "former boss" Mark Meadows, who she insisted was "a terrible chief of staff" that "did not match the moment" of the pandemic or Trump's reelection campaign. As the co-hosts pressed her to "answer the question," Conway insisted she told the Capitol rioters to leave the building during an interview that afternoon, but failed to address Griffin's specific question about backing Trump in 2024.
"But you're still supporting Donald Trump now!" interrupted Griffin. "Alyssa, if you're saying that somehow we're supposed to think that you've seen the light and not just see your name in lights that's not fair," fired back Conway.
"That's such a cheap shot!" said Griffin. "You're not answering the question! How is the man qualified to be president ... you're talking about maybe a second term. You've never denounced Donald Trump when he incited a violent mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol."
The two continued to go back and forth until Whoopi interrupted to let Joy Behar ask a question, but the damage was done. The interview wrapped up shortly after, and in the next segment, everyone seemed relieved to have moved beyond it. "Our guests here in the audience feel very passionately, oftentimes, about what they're hearing, and it just got to everyone today," Whoopi said with a laugh. "People were like, 'Oh, hell no!'"
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.