The two had a backstage blowup after the Dec. 12 show, when Huntsman, Joy Behar, and Sunny Hostin—all mothers—engaged in an extended “Hot Topics” discussion about parenting and breastfeeding. McCain, who wrote painfully last July about a recent miscarriage in The New York Times, bristled: “I’ve never breast-fed anything, I’m sorry. I always feel like there’s this moment on the show where I have so much to say about politics, I have so much to say about the election, so much to say about the candidates! Breast-feeding? I got nothing for you guys.”

As the show was going off the air, Behar quipped, “I say nurse the cactus!” and then chuckled as McCain, daughter of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain, looked like she’d been smacked in the face. (“Joy’s comment was a quip that went wrong,” an ABC insider told The Daily Beast.)

Off-camera, McCain—who also declined an interview request—then laced into her pal Huntsman, accusing her of never saying anything in her defense on the air; Huntsman emotionally rejected McCain’s charge, claiming that she had always supported her friend and “had her back,” according to a person familiar with the details of the argument.

“It’s unsustainable,” said a View insider, who claimed reports of the show’s “toxic culture” are accurate.