Published March 11, 2013
NEW YORK – Barbara Walters refuted reports that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was being fired from "The View."
Early on in Monday's episode of the talk show, Walters discussed rumors that Hasselbeck was being pushed off the show because of the conservative opinions she often voices.
"There’s a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure saying we don’t approve of her conservative views," Walters said. The truth is... we value and appreciate her point of view, it’s important to us, because it helps give the show perspective and balance."
Walters made it clear the show wasn't planning on getting rid of Hasselbeck, but the news veteran did curiously add that she would support Hasselbeck should she ever choose to leave.
"We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show. Having said that to all of you, Bill [Geddie] and I have always said that when one of you make the choice to leave, that’s your choice, and we will support your decision.”
US Weekly was the first to report the longtime co-host would not be returning for the 17th season of the daytime chat show.
They quoted a show insider who said she was being dropped because she was too politically conservative for viewers.
Hasselbeck, 35, joined the show in 2003.
Several reports stated that her contract would be up after this season of "The View." A rep for the show would not comment on the status of Hasselbeck's contract, telling FOX 411 "we do not discuss contract details."
Rumors of her departure came just days after Joy Behar confirmed she would not be returning to the show.
The 70-year-old comedian will leave show at the end of the current season in August. The network said in a statement that it wishes Behar "all the best in this next chapter, and are thrilled that we have her for the remainder of the season."
Walters echoed the network's sentiments during Monday's episode, but she said Behar's departure would be difficult for her.
"When you announced this last week it was very bittersweet," she said. "I want what’s best for you-- I want what’s best of all of you. But I will miss you."
Behar has co-hosted the show for 16 seasons. She was among the first co-hosts with co-creator Walters when the series debuted in 1997.
A rep for Hasselbeck did not immediately return FOX 411's request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.