It’s been nearly a year since Kathy Griffin was caught up in a whirlwind of controversy after the release of a photo in which she proudly held aloft the faux severed head of President Donald Trump.
After being criticized by everyone from Trump himself to former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, Griffin issued a tearful apology on video and even held a press conference to do damage control after she was fired from her New Year’s Eve gig on CNN (even her former NYE co-host, Anderson Cooper, said he was “appalled” by the “completely inappropriate” photo).
Things became even stranger when Griffin was subsequently investigated by the Secret Service for “conspiracy to assassinate the president of the United States.” She was ultimately exonerated.
Despite her earlier apologies, it was a defiant Griffin who appeared Monday on “The View”, where she retracted her apology.
“I take the apology back. F**k him,” Griffin said of Trump, announcing she’s going on the offensive.
“I’m not holding back on this family. This family is different. I’ve been through the mill,” she explained, jokingly referring to Trump sons Donald Jr. and Eric as, respectively, “Eddie Munster and Date Rape.”
Griffin’s appearance comes in the wake of Michelle Wolf’s controversial performance at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and she noted some similarities between what she went through and the attacks being levelled at Wolf.
“Then when I found out I was part of the Trump woodchipper, which Michelle Wolf is in now, that they had this apparatus already set up,” she said. “I wanted to make a statement about what a misogynist [Trump] is, and I remembered the eight years of photos [circulated online] of an Obama lynching, and nobody said anything, it was all on Facebook … people were going to rallies with Hillary’s head decapitated, they get away with everything.”
Her motivation for taking back her apology? “The First Amendment is important,” she said. “It’s the first for a reason.”
Looking back, Griffin joked that her own mother bought into the furor. “People thought I was ISIS,” she quipped. “When my mother called — she watches Fox News and thinks it’s real and thinks Bill O’Reilly is on vacation — that day, as crazy as it was, I was in a ball, sobbing, everything’s over… I had to spend two hours convincing my mom I hadn’t been recruited by Al-Qaeda… my mom got death threats in her retirement village, and my sister got death threats in her hospital bed, and I lost her to cancer — that’s why I shaved my head. That’s how vicious it can be.”
Griffin also told the hosts that she believes the order to be investigated by the Secret Service came directly from Trump. Asked what evidence she has to back that up, she fired a barb at the president’s embattled personal attorney, whose office was raided and is currently the subject of a criminal investigation.
“Ask Michael Cohen,” she quipped. “I’m sure it’s on his phone.”