Alyssa Farah Griffin: From Youngest Pentagon Spokesperson To Co-Host Of The View

Like many members of Donald Trump's administration (see everyone from Kayleigh McEnany to Sean Spicer), former White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah Griffin has pivoted into the world of broadcasting since leaving the world of MAGA behind. But instead of gravitating toward the right-wing media, the youngest ever Pentagon spokesperson is now carving out a new career in more neutral circles, whether it's as a political commentator for CNN or panelist on daytime talk show institution "The View" (more on all of this below!). It's a move made even more surprising when you learn of her father's background, her journalism beginnings, and her various brushes with Fox News.

So how exactly did Griffin get her start in the business? How did she gradually rise up the ranks of the American political system? And why did she decide to turn her back on the more conservative media landscape? Here's a look at Alyssa Farah Griffin's remarkable rise to fame.

Alyssa Farah Griffin was born into a journalist family

Alyssa Farah Griffin was perhaps always destined to begin her career in the world of journalism. The media personality's dad, Joseph Farah, served as the Los Angeles Herald Examiner's executive news editor and The Sacramento Union's editor before launching WorldNetDaily, a far-right website renowned for spawning conspiracy theories such as the unsubstantiated dispute over former President Barack Obama's birthplace.

Meanwhile, her mother, Judy Farah, is also a journalist — albeit one who's seemingly a bit more liberal. She has covered a wide variety of topics, including 9/11, the Oscars, the Olympics, serial killer cases, and presidential administrations, while working for the likes of the Associated Press, Comstock's magazine, and HuffPost.

For her part, the future co-host of "The View" first followed in her parents' footsteps when she pursued a bachelor's degree in journalism and public policy at Patrick Henry College in the late 2000s. Years after her 2011 graduation, Alyssa Farah Griffin told her alma mater, "I originally wanted to be a reporter, but realize I'm probably too partisan to do it objectively, so I moved to the other side of it, working with press as a spokesperson."

The future Pentagon spokesperson began writing for her father

It seems as though Alyssa Farah Griffin has little concern about potentially being described as a "nepo baby." The future CNN commentator's first media job after college was as a special Washington correspondent for her father's right-wing website WorldNetDaily until 2014. Griffin has, however, since tried to distance herself from her career beginnings. 

In a 2022 discussion on "The View" about the Barack Obama birther conspiracy supported by former President Donald Trump, the panelist acknowledged that her dad was partly responsible for starting it. "I remember 10 years ago saying, 'Why are we doing this? It's destructive. It's bigoted. It's blatantly racist,'" Griffin stated. After confirming that she never shared this same view as her father — whose ancestry is rooted in Syria and Lebanon — Griffin admitted that she struggled to understand where it came from in the first place. 

"I remember having a conversation of like, 'People other-ize our people. How are we other-izing the Black community?'" Griffin recalled, further arguing, "I say all this to say that conspiracy theories are seductive, but they're destructive."

She started her political career with Congressman Tom McClintock

Alyssa Farah Griffin first stepped outside her journalist parents' shadows when she bagged a media internship with Congressman Tom McClintock in 2010. The soon-to-be Patrick Henry College graduate then worked on Fox News' "The Laura Ingraham Show" as an associate producer, before becoming a College Republican National Committee spokesperson during the 2012 presidential election cycle.

Congressman Mark Meadows spotted Griffin's potential and hired her as his press secretary in 2014. Calling this "my break working on Capitol Hill," she told her alma mater, "I went on to serve as Communications Director for the House Freedom Caucus, under Chairmen Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows." Unfortunately, Griffin's relationship with Meadows soured in the wake of the January 6, 2021 insurrection. She claimed Meadows allowed various Donald Trump associates through security to convene in the White House during an infamous December 2020 meeting in order to further spread the false voter fraud conspiracy and attempt to overturn the presidential election results — a charge that Meadows, the White House chief of staff at the time, firmly denied, per Insider.

"I suspect it was Mark Meadows," Griffin had alleged on CNN. "And I say that because I can tell you before I resigned, I said, 'Sir, I'm planning to move on — I want to put in my notice.' And he said to me, 'What if I could tell you that we're actually going to be staying?' You can interpret that as hypothetical, but there were people around the president telling him that, and that is what led to this absolute insanity."

Alyssa Farah Griffin joined the president's circle

Alyssa Farah Griffin's thriving political career reached new heights in 2017 when she landed two major positions, then-Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary and former President Donald Trump's special assistant. She later explained to Patrick Henry College, "I attribute my ability to rise in the political communications space to two primary factors: my understanding of the role of the free press and respect for the work they do and my decision early on to learn the policies I'm communicating in parallel to communicating them." Griffin added, "So I'm not simply a mouthpiece, but have a solid background in policy to back what I'm communicating."

During these dual roles, Griffin would travel with Pence on several trips, both on home soil and overseas, and was also a member of the official U.S. delegations during the ASEAN Summit and Munich Security Conference. In 2019, however, another promotion followed when Griffin was confirmed as the United States Department of Defense's Press Secretary, a role which saw her visit Afghanistan where peace talks between the Trump administration, Afghan government, and the Taliban took place in early 2020. "After 2 unforgettable years at the White House with the @VP, I'm honored to head to @DeptofDefense to serve as Press Secretary on behalf of [Secretary of Defense Mark Esper] & the incredible men & women of our Armed Forces," she tweeted at the time of her promotion.

Then aged 30, this job impressively made Griffin the youngest ever spokesperson for the Pentagon.

She helped with the coronavirus response

Alyssa Farah Griffin's remarkable rise up the United States' political ladder continued in April 2020 when she was appointed as the White House Director of Strategic Communications. "The best part of working in the Trump White House is that there's no such thing as an average day. Every day brings something new and exciting," the Patrick Henry College graduate told her former school, adding, "In my role, I serve in a sort of dual hatted role of helping message day-of events, breaking news, announcements, as well as overseeing strategic planning for days and weeks out."

In a baptism of fire, however, Griffin also had to immediately deal with Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus. She helped to shape the message strategy for Warp Speed, the operation designed to find and deliver a vaccination program as quickly as possible. But unfortunately, she couldn't prevent the 45th president's unsafe and highly criticized recommendation to inject bleach to combat the virus, as she later recalled to the January 6 House select committee.

Referring to the Department of Homeland Security report that suggested various possible COVID-19 remedies, Griffin recalled (via The Hill), "I tried to stop it outside of the Oval Office, because I knew the President was willing to go on national television, have not been able to properly digest what the report was indicating, and say something stupid or dangerous to the public." She added, "I went to Mark Meadows, and I said, 'Sir, this is going to blow up in our faces.' ... Meadows overruled me."

Alyssa Farah Griffin condemned her former boss

In December 2020, just nine months after taking on the role, Alyssa Farah Griffin quit as the White House communications director, with news reports suggesting that she was focusing her efforts on launching her own consulting firm instead.

Free from the constraints of being part of the Donald Trump administration, Griffin admittedly toed the party line at first, telling Vanity Fair, "I was at that period doing what a lot of the Republican Party still is ... dancing around the crazy and trying to use the language to appeal to the electorate." Eventually, however, she was able to tell the world what she really thought of her former boss and his devout followers. Shortly before the attack on the U.S. Capitol, for example, the Patrick Henry College graduate took to Twitter to call out some of the 45th president's supporters for the way they harassed Senator Mitt Romney at Salt Lake City airport.

Then, not long after the January 6, 2021 insurrection, Griffin took aim at Trump for inciting his fan base, stating in an interview with CNN that Trump's continual false claims about the 2020 presidential election results — aka the Big Lie — "worked up this frenzy and this sort of mob that we saw at the Capitol, and it's just unacceptable." Furthermore, she argued that the outgoing POTUS should immediately resign: "When the moment called for leadership, he did not do the right thing and lives were lost because of it."

She testified for the January 6 House select committee

Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol in early 2021, Alyssa Farah Griffin spoke to the January 6 House select committee in April 2022 about what she knew. She testified that former President Donald Trump had apparently admitted to losing the presidential election to Joe Biden on numerous occasions in November 2020, per The Washington Post. Griffin also claimed she'd been ghosted by Mark Meadows, then the White House chief of staff, after composing a text calling for either the 45th or Meadows to publicly condemn the January 6 insurrection, remarking, "If someone doesn't say something, people will die."

Calling the committee's investigation "a very comprehensive and deliberative process," Griffin later explained to CNN, "They want to put together the definitive narrative on the 'Big Lie.' How people contributed to it, how people perpetuated it, who, by the way, knew it wasn't true."

She also later told Vanity Fair she had no regrets about how she responded to the insurrection and spoke out in its aftermath: "I didn't really think twice about like, 'How is this gonna affect relationships with people that I do genuinely care about?' I just felt like something needed to be said, and I wasn't gonna wait to see if someone else was gonna say anything. Many of those who did now say as much only behind closed doors. I'd say I lost a lot of friends."

The former White House employee was tapped by CNN

Given her background working for Mike Pence, the Pentagon, and the Donald Trump administration, you might have expected Alyssa Farah Griffin to join Fox News once she decided to return to the world of news media. Although she did appear on the conservative channel several times — in fact, Vanity Fair reported that Fox News, at one point, had requested she contribute multiple times a week — she soon realized that her broadcasting skills would be put to better use elsewhere. Indeed, in a surprising turn of events, the Patrick Henry College alum instead took on a political contributor role with the arguably more impartial network, CNN, in December 2021.

That said, Griffin admitted to the outlet that she still doesn't quite know where she fits in within the media landscape: "Never Trumpers don't accept me because they think I was in his administration too long, I don't expect the Democrats to, just in general, and then Trumpworld, I'm alienated from. I feel like the core of the country is a lot closer to where I am right now."

Alyssa Farah Griffin walked down the aisle

In 2020, Alyssa Farah Griffin got engaged to Justin Griffin, a New York University Stern School of Business graduate whose grandfather is Republican Party activist and real estate magnate Samuel A. Tamposi. A year later, the couple said "I do" at a Vero Beach private sporting club in Florida. But things haven't always been rosy between the pair, as the star explained to her "The View" colleagues in February 2023.

Alyssa revealed that early on in their long-distance courtship, Justin decided to call things off. Though the former White House staffer took a somewhat surprising route to rekindle their relationship. "I love a good thirst trap," she admitted (via Yahoo! News), explaining, "I was devastated [over the breakup]. But how do you get him back? Post a sexy beachside photo." Apparently, the pic immediately had the desired effect. "He was calling me the next day and we were back together within a few days," Alyssa said.

For his part, Justin also has a political background, having worked as the Massachusetts republican party's regional director in 2012 before serving as the director of finance for both Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. In 2019, he took on a consultant position at Merrimack Potomac + Charles.

She fell out with her father over politics

Alyssa Farah Griffin had no doubt hoped to wed businessman Justin Griffin in front of all her loved ones in November 2021. Sadly, several family members, including her stepmom and dad, refused to attend the nuptials because of their differing political views — and in particular for the way that the bride has made it a point to speak out against Donald Trump.

In February 2022, Alyssa told her fellow panelists on "The View" that she didn't let the no-shows ruin the occasion: "The answer was simple. Like, I love them. They were welcome to be there on my end. But if they didn't want to be there, why would I interrupt my special day by trying to have them there?" 

Speaking with Vanity Fair that May, Alyssa further noted, "I would be lying if I said my father's company and role in the current state of right-wing media wasn't a factor in me feeling, um, convicted and compelled to knock down disinformation. I basically set my world on fire, doing what I thought was right, and was just surprised to be met with, like, additional condemnation from a person close to me." She went on to explain, "I am telling my truth and I have never really shied away in doing it and, frankly, I have had a lot of personal loss."

Alyssa Farah Griffin joined The View as co-host

Alyssa Farah Griffin's broadcasting career took another turn in the summer of 2022 when she was announced as the 24th permanent host of the daytime talk show "The View." The former White House staffer joined political strategist Ana Navarro on the panel full-time for the 26th season, having previously impressed as a guest.

In a press statement about her appointment, Griffin revealed how delighted she was to be joining such an institution (via ABC News): "The show paved the way for women speaking up and speaking out on TV. At a time when our country is so divided, often on partisan lines, I'm honored to represent the conservative perspective. I hope to model what is too often lost by our elected leaders: learning from others, disagreeing respectfully, and focusing on finding real solutions for our country."

To prepare for the new gig, Griffin called upon the advice of a personal media coach and former "The View" panelist, Abby Huntsman, before making her debut. But the most valuable bit of wisdom may have come from her new colleague, Whoopi Goldberg, as Griffin explained to USA Today, "She jokes with me, reminding me, 'Don't read the comments. Turn it off. Do not listen to the haters.' And it's really meant a lot to me."

The political strategist initially didn't want to be on TV

News of Alyssa Farah Griffin's appointment on "The View" came as a surprise to many, not least MSNBC host Tiffany Cross, who described the former White House staffer as a "tawdry turncoat Trump loyalist [who] quickly morphed into an opportunist after voluntarily taking jobs with the Trump administration." Ouch. But the daytime talk show gig would have been just as shocking to Griffin's younger self.

Indeed, in her interview with Vanity Fair, Griffin claimed that her unlikely career pivot certainly wasn't meticulously planned. "At no point in my entire life was my goal to be on TV and be a talking head," she said. "I know I for sure said to my husband multiple times, 'I want to stay off TV because I don't wanna forever be seen as a Trump spokesperson.' Famous last words."

So what inspired the Pentagon's youngest ever spokesperson to change her mind? A hefty pay packet? A guaranteed trip to the Daytime Emmy Awards? Well, apparently it was the potential to inspire change: "I do believe that media is the way I can have the most influence in the shortest period of time."

She started beef with Kayleigh McEnany

Alyssa Farah Griffin has clearly never been afraid to tell it like it is, and in addition to making herself an enemy of Donald Trump during her testimony with the January 6 House select committee, in various interviews, and on social media, she also started some beef with ex-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Griffin was particularly scathing about the way in which her one-time colleague appeared to perpetuate the lie that Trump, and not Joe Biden, had won the 2020 presidential election. "I am a Christian woman, so I will say this; Kayleigh is a liar and an opportunist," Griffin claimed of the Fox News personality in her testimony, which was released in December 2022 (via the Independent). "I wish her the best, but she made — she's a smart woman. She's a Harvard law grad. This is not an idiot. She knew we lost the election, but she made a calculation that she wanted to have a certain life post-Trump that required staying in his good graces." Griffin added, "And that was more important to her than telling the truth to the American public."

Revealing that she'd never directly spoken to McEnany about her thoughts, Griffin explained that she didn't believe "it would have been constructive." As of this writing, McEnany has yet to publicly respond to Griffin's criticism. Meanwhile, "The View" co-host has since called out everyone from controversial Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Kanye West.

Alyssa Farah Griffin is still a proud conservative

Alyssa Farah Griffin may have denounced her former boss, ex-POTUS Donald Trump, burned her bridges with most of her other one-time colleagues (even her own right-wing father), and repositioned herself as a political commentator for CNN — but this rising broadcasting star is still proud to call herself a conservative.

Speaking to National Review in July 2022, Griffin said (via Fox News), "I'm a conservative who believes in limited federal government and a robust national defense." The former White House staffer did acknowledge, though, that she's become more willing to see the other point of view over the years. For example, the reproductive rights movement is one area in which Griffin has implored Republicans to look at the wider picture. While "The View" host remains pro-life, she's argued that her party has failed in their support of underprivileged mothers once they have actually given birth.

To this end, Griffin noted, "I do, however, think that most people who have served in the highest levels of government, who hold the highest level security clearances, as I do, often become less dogmatic in their views as they learn more and are exposed to more."