Whoopi Goldberg Steps in as Joy Behar and Meghan McCain Argue on The View: 'Let Folks Talk'
"They are professional, they have a job to do and that's what they did," a source tells PEOPLE of the co-hosts
On Monday’s broadcast, the co-hosts once again ended up arguing — but this time, moderator Whoopi Goldberg swiftly shut it down.
Tensions began to escalate while the panel was discussing Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation on Sunday. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan was named her acting replacement pending Senate confirmation of a new secretary.
The women began debating what McAleenan should do, leading to a discussion about border states. McCain, who is from Arizona, said the “crisis at the border” is a “hard-line issue for people who live in border states.” (President Donald Trump‘s administration’s hard-line immigration policies, championed by the conservative base, have been met with protests, stiff legal scrutiny and in some cases reversals by the court.)
“[For] many friends of mine, this is the number one and only issue,” she said. “If we sit here and act like there isn’t a crisis, that it’s just crazy people living in border states that think that there’s a crisis, that is a winning ticket for Trump going forward.”
After letting McCain, 34, say her piece, Behar, 76, pointed to McAleenan’s support of providing aid to countries in Central America.
“That’s the way to solve the problem — keep them there, happy,” she said. “Give them a house, give them food, help them, help their children.”
“Give a Nicaraguan a house? We’ve had a bunch of liberal guests who don’t want to send in aid at all,” McCain interrupted.
“Hold on,” Behar said, holding up her hand. “I listened to you. Let me just finish.”
“Part of your job is to listen to me,” McCain shot back.
“Okay, so here’s the deal,” Goldberg said before either McCain or Behar could say anything else. “Here’s what’s not going to happen today — we’re not going to do this. Everybody gets a conversation piece, everybody gets to say their piece and we don’t need to comment if we don’t like what we’re hearing. Just let folks talk.”
Goldberg, 63, let Behar finish her point, but Behar, still looking rattled, said she had forgotten what she wanted to say. The conversation continued from there, and the exchange wasn’t brought up again.
A source tells PEOPLE the clash was “over as soon as it started.”
“It wasn’t discussed in the commercial break,” the source says. “They were prepped by their producers for the next segment (which is protocol) and it was light easy conversational at the table. It ended at that moment.”
“They are professional, they have a job to do and that’s what they did,” the source adds. “There was nothing beyond what viewers saw.”
That echoes what an insider told PEOPLE in December: that McCain and Behar have a healthy working relationship and have “actually gotten really close over the last year.” (McCain — daughter of the late Senator John McCain — joined the ABC panel as a permanent co-host in October 2017.)
“They’re two very different people, but they’re both very professional,” the insider said.
McCain has also shot down rumors that she feuds with Behar behind closed doors, saying, “quite frankly, nobody has time to continue the fight afterwards.”
The View airs weekdays (11 a.m.) ET on ABC.