Barbara Walters says Elisabeth Hasselbeck is staying on "The View."
Walters said false reports that the show's lone conservative was leaving began circulating after Joy Behar announced exit plans last week. But on Monday, Walters pointedly denied them.
“There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure, saying that we don’t approve of her conservative views,” Walters said.
“The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her personally, and she’s just a wonderful person,” she continued. But beyond that, we value and appreciate her point of view. It’s important to us, because Elisabeth helps give the show perspective and balance. And believe me, she’s tougher than she looks.”
Also Monday, Behar read a joke list of reasons she was leaving the show, including that ABC wouldn't let her drink on the air like Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb do in the 9 a.m. hour of NBC's "Today."
Walters, who began the show, said news of Behar's exit was very "bittersweet," noting their 16 years of working together. But she said she wished her the best.