Chuck Todd criticizes NBC News’ hiring of former RNC chief Ronna McDaniel

Chuck Todd, seen here on the Washington set of Meet the Press, took over as moderator in 2014.
(NBC NewsWire/William B. Plowman/NBC)

Chuck Todd criticizes NBC News’ hiring of former RNC chief Ronna McDaniel

Stephen Battaglio

March 24, 2024

NBC News employees are upset about the network’s hiring of former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, and one of them let viewers know



Former “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, who appeared at the program’s roundtable, told his successor, Kristen Welker, that “there’s a reason why a lot of journalists at NBC News are uncomfortable” with the decision to remove McDaniel


a paid contributor to the network.

McDaniel, 50, has resigned as chairman of the RNC


man on February 26

so she could be and was

replaced by attorney Michael Whatley and presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump. McDaniel’s new role

what happened?

was met with significant backlash within the news department


especially among the hosts and producers of the progressive cable channel MSNBC.

As RNC chairman



dragged toes

the line for Trump, and even supports the former president’s false claim that


electoral loss for the president


Biden was rigged in 2020. McDaniel became known for repeating Trump’s lies on TV, and was even corrected in real time on Fox News, a sympathetic forum for Republicans.

Todd, who ended his nine-year run as moderator of “Meet the Press” in 2023, told Welker that NBC News was often the victim of “gaslighting” and character assassination in dealing with McDaniel during her term as RNC chair. He wondered how McDaniel could be a credible source in a journalistic setting.

Todd commented after McDaniel appeared on “Meet the Press” in a previously scheduled interview with Welker, who pointed it out

that how

she was not involved in the hiring decision. In the interview, McDaniel acknowledged for the first time that Biden had won the 2020 election market and expressed disagreement with Trump’s plan to pardon imprisoned participants in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Todd expressed his skepticism


the sincerity of McDaniel’s comments.

“I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation, because I don’t know what to believe,” Todd told Welker. “(McDaniel) is now a paid contributor to NBC News. I have no idea if any response she gave to you was because she didn’t want to screw up her contract. She wants us to believe she spoke for the RNC when the RNC paid for her. So she has credibility issues that she’s still dealing with.”

High-profile political operatives and former White House officials are often hired


hosts and commentators on news broadcasts to access their inside information. Jen Psaki was signed by MSNBC after she announced this




left her position as White House communications director.

But hiring Republicans has become difficult since Trump has continued to deny the results of the 2020 election. CBS News was criticized for naming former RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney as contributors.

Todd himself was often subjected to rancorous criticism on social media when he hosted Trump defenders on “Meet the Press.”

Paid contributors are compensated to act, often exclusively, as experts or commentators and are not network employees.

A representative for NBC News had no comment on McDaniel’s hiring or the criticism of Todd. Privately, executives say McDaniel was brought to NBC News because they believed the network needed more voices that reflected the current Republican Party. She was also considered by other networks.

Insiders at MSNBC, which has delivered a steady stream of criticism of Trump during its programming, were particularly concerned about McDaniel joining the news department. But the hosts and producers have editorial control over their programs and can decide for themselves whether or not to book McDaniel.


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