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The View kicked off the week with fireworks as Sunny Hostin grilled guest co-host Alyssa Farah, Trump's Director of Strategic Communications in 2020, about her time in the White House. Hostin was quick to ask Farah how she could have joined Trump's staff despite knowing "who he was," and she refused to back down when the conservative cited her support for the ex-president's economic agenda and her commitment to public service. "So, you're not working for Darth Vader, but you're a Storm Trooper?" asked The View's longtime co-host.
Rather than open with a timely Hot Topics discussion, Whoopi Goldberg began Monday's show by turning things over to Farah, this week's guest co-host, who clearly felt obligated to explain herself to a critical panel. "I was asked to serve in the Trump White House in April 2020," she said, explaining that she left her "dream job" as the Department of Defense press secretary because she was "asked to go and serve" elsewhere. "I thought if there was anything I could do to even marginally help, I couldn't say no ... I strongly believe in public service. If a Democrat administration asked me to go and serve, if a Republican one did, I would say "yes" and I would go in."
Farah added that she's "proud" of her time in the White House because she "always gave [her] best counsel to the president," but admitted that often "meant being the skunk at the garden party" that advises people not to do certain things. "But that's the job. That's the job we sign up for," she said. "I went in knowing any day I could be fired, I could be let go at will, but my duty was to serve the American public and to serve the country, and I did my best to do that."
"I have to say though, when I think about it — you join in April 2020," replied Hostin. "That's like four years in. We know who he was. How do you do that?" When Farah admitted it's "a fair point," Hostin doubled down, saying, "He's the person that is, 'Grab 'em by the you-know-what,' and you're working for him?"
.@Alyssafarah looks back on her time working in the Trump admin, calling it "extremely challenging": "I'm proud of what I did there — I always gave my best counsel to the president."— The View (@TheView) October 4, 2021
"My duty was to serve the American public and serve the country and I did my best to do that." pic.twitter.com/SO0jqUpAJS
Farah insisted she "didn't have any illusions about who the president was," as she worked as Vice President Pence's press secretary before moving to the DOD (at which point Hostin compared Farah's employment history to that of Star Wars' Storm Troopers). "I will say this: I believed strongly in his economic agenda. I believed in his national security agenda," she said. "But I had no illusions about the man that Donald Trump was. My general POV was: if not me, then who?"
The guest co-host then began to tout some of Trump's victories, an aside that the co-hosts quickly shut down (when Farah claimed a family member's 401K increased by 24%, Whoopi Goldberg asked, "But on whose back?"). After some back and forth, Farah changed tact and admitted that she left the White House after the election because she was "afraid of where these myths could take us," and the January 6 riots only reinforced that feeling.
.@Alyssafarah on leaving her position working for the Trump White House in Dec. 2020 after false election claims began circulating: "I had a duty, first and foremost, to the country to tell the truth."— The View (@TheView) October 4, 2021
“I left because I was afraid of where these myths could take us.” pic.twitter.com/lVQN6DZ6QJ
"I wouldn't support Donald Trump again. Our country needs to go a different direction," concluded Farah, once again noting his "good" economic policy before moving on. "But we've got to move on from this era."
Other thoughts on today's episode...
Whoopi's Box Update! Whoopi Goldberg's foot box got a major makeover this weekend: her feet now rest on a bedazzled white box that looks far more elegant than the wood-toned accessory from the past few weeks. Goldberg is asking for fans' help decorating her new box, so if you have any "daytime appropriate" ideas, shoot 'em her way — you may even get a View mug out of it.
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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.