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Welcome to The View Season 26.
On Tuesday, The View returned from summer break with an episode devoted entirely to Hot Topics, giving the co-hosts ample opportunity to catch up on the many political storylines they missed over the past few weeks. The episode served as something of a coming-out party for new co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former Trump staffer who won the job after a year of try-outs, but the other new addition to Season 26, Ana Navarro, was notably absent. So much for that full-time promotion...
Surprisingly, the women of The View did little to address Navarro's absence from the premiere. The new co-host appeared in the revamped opening credits, but when it came time to actually sit down, there was no mention of her. Her absence wasn't totally unexpected: when Navarro's official hiring was announced in early August, it was reported that she would only appear on The View "a few days a week" (which she was already doing as a guest co-host), but it stands to reason that the season premiere is not a great day to miss.
Beyond the case of the disappearing Ana Navarro, it was business as usual on The View (except for a noticeable pivot away from those dastardly stools). The ladies opened the Day of Hot Topics with a discussion about the raid on Mar-a-Lago, which gave Griffin a chance to humble brag about her "top secret" security clearance.
TRUMP CONDEMNS FBI FOR MAR-A-LAGO SEARCH: After the FBI seized nearly 13,000 documents from former Pres. Trump's estate, a judge granted a request from his legal team to appoint a special master to review the documents – #TheView co-hosts discuss. https://t.co/1NsNwEwRYH pic.twitter.com/KGBNT4x2vN— The View (@TheView) September 6, 2022
"Had I walked out of the Pentagon or the White House with a classified document and put it in my apartment, I'd be hauled off to prison," she said. "It's a federal crime because 'top secret' means it could pose grave risk to national security, and he had it at his country club!"
After the commercial break, the co-hosts weighed in on President Biden's primetime address about the threat the MAGA movement poses to democracy, rhetoric Trump labeled "divisive." Griffin continued to play her part as the table's conservative, arguing that while Trump may be "semi-fascist," his supporters are not.
"The vast majority of his supporters ... are good people who want an economy that works for them, who saw more money in their paycheck under Donald Trump," she said. "My fear is this: I think Biden wants to be a uniter, but I don't think that that speech was uniting."
"But this is the problem, Alyssa," replied Sunny Hostin. "60 to 70% of Republicans believe that Donald Trump is the leader of their party. And so if you are saying that he is a fascist, what are they? If you are saying that he is a white supremacist, what are they? If you are saying that he is a racist, what are they?"
"Because if you follow someone that has hate in their heart — and I believe that he does — then you are complicit in that!" Hostin continued, as the audience gave her a hearty round of applause. "You do not get a pass on that!"
TRUMP SAYS BIDEN IS “ENEMY OF THE STATE”: Pres. Biden has taken a different tone lately by directly commenting on former Pres. Trump and the MAGA movement — #TheView co-hosts weigh in on Trump's response. https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/dEVMARFUAE— The View (@TheView) September 6, 2022
When will we see Ana Navarro? Who will be the first co-host to get annoyed with Alyssa Farah Griffin? Stay tuned to The View Season 26 to find out!
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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.