Chuck Todd calls out NBC News' hiring of former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel



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Veteran NBC anchor Chuck Todd criticized his network’s leadership on Sunday over hiring former Republican National Committee (RNC) chair Ronna McDaniel as a contributor just days after she stepped down from the organization.

McDaniel sat for her first interview since leaving the RNC on Sunday with “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker, a role previously held by Todd for nine years. In a panel discussion directly following the interview, Todd took his displeasure with the move to the airwaves.

“Let me deal with the elephant in the room,” he opened.

“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. “She is now a paid contributor by NBC News, so I have no idea whether any answer she gave to you was because she didn’t want to mess up her contract.”

Todd said McDaniel has “credibility issues” and outlined simmering tension among journalists at the network over the hiring.

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

“So when NBC made the decision to give her NBC News’s credibility, you got to ask yourself, ‘What does she bring NBC News?’” he added.

Before the interview with McDaniel, Welker made it clear that it was not timed to coincide with her hiring. She said the interview had been scheduled for weeks.

“This will be a news interview, and I was not involved in her hiring,” she said.

Major networks like NBC are no stranger to hiring major conservative figures after they leave their posts. Senior Trump administration staffers like former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and former Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney are frequent faces on panel shows, for example.

When announcing her hiring on Friday, the network emphasized that her political background contributed editorial and ideological balance to its coverage.

“It couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” Carrie Budoff Brown, who leads political coverage at NBC, wrote in a memo shared with The New York Times.

McDaniel is expected to be featured in election coverage on NBC and MSNBC, the network’s sister cable channel.

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