Tamika Mallory
ABC

Things got heated this week when Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory made an appearance on The View.

Monday, co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain grilled Mallory over her ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and while the activist remained calm under fire, by the end of the segment McCain’s disdain for her guest was palpable.

READ MORE: Chicago Women’s March cancelled after fallout amid controversial Farrakhan statements

“Tamika, you came under some fire for your relationship with Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam,” Hostin pointed out cautiously at the beginning of the interview. “He’s known for being anti-Semitic, for being homophobic, but you do attend his events and you posted… a photo calling him the G.O.A.T., which means the greatest of all time. You are running an organization that says it fights bigotry. Do you understand why your association with him is quite problematic?”

“I think it’s important to put my attendance, my presence at Savior’s Day, which is the highest holy day for the Nation of Islam, in proper context,” Mallory responded without skipping a beat.

“As a leader, as a black leader, in a country that is still dealing with some very serious, unresolved issues, as it relates to the black experience in this country,” she continued, explaining that it’s often necessary that she go into “difficult spaces” with people who she doesn’t agree with to promote her cause.

“I wrote a piece immediately following the beginning of this controversy, talking about wherever my people are, that’s where I must also be,” Mallory said. “I also go into prisons… I am trying to help people.”

READ MORE: Tamika Mallory arrested on the Hill while fighting for Black immigrants

Hostin treated the interview as an opportunity for the Women’s March organizers to clear up misinformation and address their critics. But when McCain chimed in, the tone of the discussion because increasingly tense and adversarial. At several points the Republican political analyst accused Mallory and her supporters of being bigoted towards conservative women with opposing views, stating the Women’s March movement was nothing more than, “anti-Semitism masked in activism”.

The spirited debate culminated in McCain demanding that Mallory “condemn” Farrakhan on national television. But she refused to use that language, choosing instead to repeat, “As I said, I don’t agree with many of Minister Farrakhan’s statements.”

You can check out the full segment below.