Meghan McCain is opening up about her tense friendship with former The View co-host Abby Huntsman for the first time since Huntsman announced that she would be exiting the ABC talk show. Sitting down for an interview on Wednesday's Watch What Happens Live, McCain addressed swirling rumors that a "toxic work environment" and tension with Huntsman had led to the latter’s exit, with McCain admitting that they did get into a fight.
"Abby and I have been friends for over 10 years," McCain began, according to PEOPLE. "Our parents were friends in politics, we worked at Fox together. Part of the reason she came to The View is because we were friends. We are still very good friends. We are very close."
"I just talked to her yesterday morning. She's campaigning with her dad," she continued. "I think she was genuinely conflicted about her dad running for governor and her not helping, and that is the reason why she left."
Although Huntsman had confirmed during her early January departure announcement that she was leaving the discussion table to work on her father's campaign, reports had surfaced that behind-the-scenes tension, specifically a souring relationship with McCain, had been the true reason for her exit.
While McCain assured listeners that their friendship is solid, she went on to admit that she and Huntsman "did get in a fight, which is a very small fight and a friend fight. And all friendships have ups and downs."
"It was sort of bizarre for me, and I think bizarre for her, to have — the fact that we got in one fight the two years that we worked together on the show, to be put under dissection in the media, to be weaponized," she explained.
McCain went on to praise Huntsman, whose last appearance on The View aired on Jan. 17, as "an amazing co-host," adding that the past few weeks have "been a really, really rough," partly due to the media’s portrayal of her and Huntsman's relationship.
"But it's been really emotionally taxing to have like our friendship used this way in the media," she said. "It's taken a real toll on me."0comments
McCain added that while she is uncertain of who leaked the story, she wishes it "would stop because again, I think we are working on a very intense show during intense times...and I'm just trying to go in and do my job and interview presidential candidates and try and help women of the country decide if they want to support the president."
Huntsman joined The View at the start of Season 22 in September 2018. She announced during the Monday, Jan. 13 episode that she would be exiting the show to help run her father Jon Huntsman Jr.'s campaign for governor of Utah.