‘Morning Joe’ hosts say Rona McDaniel won’t guest star after NBC hire
‘Morning Joe’ hosts say Rona McDaniel won’t guest star after NBC hire

The hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” said Monday that former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Rona McDaniel — NBC News’ new paid contributor — will not be asked to appear on their show as a guest, citing her role in helping the efforts of former President Trump to overturn the 2020 election results.

Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on their show Monday slammed the network for hiring McDaniel and urged NBC News to reconsider the decision.

“To be clear, we believe that NBC News should seek out conservative Republican voices to provide balance in their coverage of the election. But it should be conservative Republicans, not someone who has used his position of power to deny elections against democracy,” Brzezinski said.

“And we hope NBC reconsiders its decision.” It goes without saying that she will not be appearing on ‘Morning Joe’ as a paid contributor,” Brzezinski added.

NBC faced a wave of internal backlash over its decision to hire the former chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) as a contributor.

Officials — including on-air talent — at NBC News expressed their disappointment with the decision, noting both the way McDaniel verbalized Trump’s grievances surrounding his 2020 election loss, but also highlighted her attacks on certain journalists from NBC News.

Chuck Todd, the former host of “Meet the Press,” appeared on the Sunday morning show and blasted his network for the decision.

“There’s a reason a lot of journalists at NBC News are uncomfortable with this, because a lot of our professional relationship with the RNC over the last six years has been met with gaslighting, has been met with character assassination,” he said.

Scarborough, who was a House Republican more than two decades ago, began by saying the co-hosts had been “inundated with calls this weekend” about NBC News’ decision.

Scarborough said he and Brzezinski were not consulted before the decision, but that if they had been, they would have strongly advised the network not to hire McDaniel.

“We found out about the hiring when we read about it in the press on Friday,” Scarborough said.

“We were not asked for our opinion on the appointment, but if we had been, we would have strongly objected to it for several reasons, including but not limited to, as the lawyers would say, Ms. McDaniels’ role in Donald Trump’s fraudulent election scheme, and her pressure on election officials not to certify election results while Donald Trump is on the phone,” he continued.

McDaniel joined Kristen Welker on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” Sunday for her first interview as a paid contributor. She said she does not support Trump’s promise to release or pardon so-called “patriots,” as Trump calls them, who are in prison for crimes related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

“If you attacked our Capitol … and you were convicted, then that should stand,” McDaniel said when asked about Trump’s pledge.

McDaniel said when pressed by Welker that she was only now voicing her dissent because she didn’t want to disagree with the former president while he was leading the RNC.

“When you’re the chairman of the RNC, you take one for the whole team,” she said. “Right now I need to be a little more myself. This is what I believe.”

In a panel discussion after the interview, Todd took issue with the network’s decision to hire McDaniel, telling Welker, “I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation. Because I don’t know what to believe.”

“She’s now a paid contributor to NBC News, so I have no idea if any response she gave you was because she didn’t want to mess up her contract,” Todd said, adding that McDaniel has “trust issues” and trust issues with some journalists.

When it announced her hiring Friday, the network emphasized that her political background would help provide editorial and ideological balance to its coverage.

“It couldn’t be a more important time to have a voice like Rona’s on the team,” NBC political anchor Carrie Budoff Brown wrote in a note shared with The New York Times.

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