Meghan McCain Says This Former "The View" Co-Host Helped Her Leave
One of the controversial host's former colleagues coached her through the process, she said.
Meghan McCain made headlines once again after Thursday's episode of The View—but this time, it wasn't for a controversial comment or a spat with her co-hosts. After nearly four years on the show, McCain announced she was leaving The View at the end of the current season, with only four more weeks remaining. The co-host said she relocated to Washington, D.C. with her husband Ben Domenech while pregnant with now 9-month-old daughter Liberty at the start of the pandemic at the recommendation of her doctor. The situation, she explained, changed "the way I am looking at life, the way I'm living my life, the way I want my life to look like" and now, she's looking to stay close to her and Domenech's family in the D.C. area.
McCain's announcement stunned audiences and even some of her co-hosts; longtime adversary Joy Behar in particular looked surprised to learn the news. But there is one former The View co-host who McCain said she leaned on as she tried to figure out her future, and it's also someone McCain famously fought with. Read on to find out who was McCain's counsel.
Meghan McCain said she leaned on Abby Huntsman when she considered leaving The View.
During the July 1 episode of The View, McCain revealed to viewers and her colleagues that she would be leaving the show at the end of the current season, which wraps in late July. "It is not easy to leave, but I feel like this is just right the decision for me at this moment," said McCain, who joined The View in Oct. 2017. "It took a lot of thought and counsel and prayer and talking to my family and my close friends."
One of those close friends was former co-host of The View Abby Huntsman, daughter of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr., who McCain called out in her announcement. "I also want to thank Abby Huntsman who was a good friend of mine, continues to be a good friend of mine, and has really helped me with this decision, ushering me through this process," she said.
Abby Huntsman recently said leaving The View was "the best decision" she could've made
Huntsman only spent about a year on The View before leaving in Jan. 202o, a choice she recently said she has no regrets over. In a June 2021 interview with People, Huntsman said leaving The View was "the best decision I could have made for my life, for my mental health, for my happiness, for my family."
The second she left the studio for the last time, she said she felt a sense of relief. "I could hear the birds chirping in the city, in Central Park, and I looked up in the sky, and I thought, 'This is the best thing I did for myself.' Because I can see the world, I can hear the world, I'm more present," Huntsman said.
In Ramin Setoodeh's book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, which details the behind-the-scenes drama of the show, he writes: "[Abby] reached her decision after multiple conversations with ABC executives about the toxicity at the root of the show. When they didn't respond to her, she told them that she'd like to move on, according to sources with knowledge of those conversations. Abby didn't think that anyone at ABC was looking out for her."
Huntsman told People she had talked to executives about "concerns" she had with the "environment" of The View, and recalled worrying about her kids reading the stories written about her in the press, where "half of that's not even true," she said.
Huntsman had an infamous feud with McCain behind the scenes of The View.
Many of those headlines written about Huntsman involved her reported "feud" with McCain, who she was friends with before joining the show. Right after Huntsman left, McCain went on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and explained that the two are long-time friends and "all friendships have ups and downs." She said they did have a "small fight," but that Huntsman leaving The View was "really, really rough." McCain added: "I didn't want her to go, selfishly, because I thought she was an amazing co-host and just having a friend there has been lovely."
In her interview with People, Huntsman said her family and McCain's "have always been close, and we always will be."
She added that Meghan becoming a mother has changed their dynamic (Huntsman has two-year-old twins and a three-and-half-year old). "I'm so thrilled that she's a mom. I think she's a totally different person as well after becoming a mom, as we all are," she said.
McCain said her father was the one who encouraged her to do The View originally.
During her departure speech on the July 1 episode of The View, McCain also talked about how her father, Republican presidential candidate John McCain, pushed her to join the show a year before he died in Aug. 2018. "I didn't want to join the show, as I think I've talked about in the past, and it was my dad who encouraged me to do it," Meghan said. "He said I could never give up an opportunity to work on such an iconic show and to work with Whoopi Goldberg and he was right. It was one of the last things he told me to do before he died."
After Meghan's announcement, Goldberg said: "Your dad was very smart. He wanted you to be here with us because I think he thought we could help toughen you up for what was coming, which was, you know, this wonderful baby you were going to have and his departure. So it was an honor when he said, 'Please take my child,'" she joked, noting the McCain patriarch called Meghan "a pain in the a**."
Co-host Sunny Hostin added: "He also told me to take it easy on Meghan, that I would learn to love her and understand her, and that she would be a pain in the a**, and he was right about all those things."