Chuck Todd Blasts NBC for Hiring Ronna McDaniel

The calls are coming from inside the newsroom.

NBC’s Chuck Todd, former moderator of Meet the Press, laid into his own network’s executives during Sunday’s show in response to NBC hiring former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel as a paid contributor to the tune of $300,000 a year, according to Puck News.

News broke Friday that McDaniel would join NBC News as a conservative political correspondent. Sunday’s broadcast began with an interview of McDaniel by host Kristen Welker. After the interview, while seated across from Welker, Todd lambasted NBC News for booking the interview, saying: “Let me deal with the elephant in the room: I think our bosses owe you an apology for putting you in this situation.”

“You got put into an impossible situation, booking this interview,” he continued. “And then all of a sudden the rug was pulled out from under you, and you find out she’s being paid to show up? It is unfortunate for this program, but I am glad you did the best that you could.”

Todd noted McDaniel’s “credibility issues” from her time as RNC Chair, mentioning she would switch between speaking for herself and on behalf of the party.

“I don’t know what to believe,” Todd said. “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.”

Though Todd is far from the only voice to criticize the decision to hire McDaniel, he is among the first as an NBC employee to comment about it on-air. Welker gave a brief disclaimer ahead of the interview, saying: “This will be a news interview, and I was not involved in her hiring.”

During the interview, which was scheduled weeks before McDaniel’s hiring was announced, Welker said it is McDaniel’s first appearance since stepping down from her position as RNC chair, which she had held since 2017.

Since McDaniel left the RNC earlier this month, it’s been taken over by former North Carolina GOP leader Michael Watley, as well as Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump. Among the changing guard, the RNC has hired many prominent 2020 election deniers, including former Trump attorney Christina Bobb.

Aside from her public comments on the 2020 election, McDaniel was also on recorded calls with then-President Trump in which he pressured election workers to not certify results.

During Sunday’s interview, Welker grilled McDaniel on her credibility after she claimed the 2020 election was stolen.

“You seem to be changing your tone as it relates to Joe Biden being legitimately elected,” Welker begins. “Why should viewers, why should people trust you believe what you’re saying right now?”

“I don’t think I’m changing my tone at all,” McDaniel said in response. When pushed by Welker, McDaniel evaded addressing her previous comments.

“Kristen, voters right now in this country are going to be making a choice in November, and they don’t care about 2020,” she argued.

More from Rolling Stone

Best of Rolling Stone