Ronna McDaniel Won’t Be Appearing on MSNBC: Report

Just days after NBC News announced it was hiring Ronna McDaniel as a political analyst, MSNBC’s President, Rashida Jones, told employees that the former Republican National Committee chairwoman won’t be contributing on air to the cable network, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The decision to hire McDaniel was met with intense public backlash, leading to her resignation in February as the head of the GOP. Critics pointed to her close ties to Trump and her behind-the-scenes role in his attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

In a memo announcing McDaniel’s hiring, Carrie Budoff Brown, who leads NBC’s elections reporting, wrote that “it couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” and referenced McDaniel’s leadership of the GOP “through some of the most turbulent and challenging moments in political history.”

The WSJ reported that “a number of MSNBC anchors and producers have voiced concern internally” about the hire. Some current and former contributors and employees have also gone public. On Friday, MSNBC columnist Marisa Kabas posted on social media a screenshot of an email she sent to Brown, in which she encouraged her to “reconsider” the hire. “As columnists, we are held to strict standards of factuality and truth, and are expected to have a fundamental understanding of our democracy,” she wrote. “McDaniel has proven time and again that she adheres to none of those values.”

Former MSNBC host Medhi Hasan, who left the network in January, criticized the decision on X, formerly Twitter, noting that McDaniel “lied about the 2020 election result, was involved in a pressure campaign to get Michigan officials not to certify the vote, and has accused MSNBC of ‘spreading lies’ and employing ‘prime time propagandists.’”

In her internal memo, Brown wrote that McDaniel’s role would involve contributing “across all NBC News platforms,” including MSNBC. But, according to the WSJ, Jones has informed employees that McDaniel won’t be contributing on-air for the cable network.

However, McDaniel was slated to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning, and her appearance went forward as planned. The show’s host, Kristen Welker, said the interview was scheduled weeks before the former RNC chair was hired and that it “will be a news interview,” adding she “was not involved in [McDaniel’s] hiring.”

In the interview—her first since leaving the RNC and being replaced by a slate of Trump picks—McDaniel appeared to reverse comments she made last year in which she claimed Biden’s 2020 victory wasn’t “fair.” On Sunday, she acknowledged that Biden won “fair and square” in 2020 and that he is “the legitimate president.”

But during a panel discussion on the show after McDaniel’s interview, former “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd told Welker he felt she deserved “an apology” from network executives. “I don’t know what to believe,” Todd said. “[McDaniel] is now a paid contributor by NBC News. I have no idea whether any answer she gave to you was because she didn’t want to mess up her contract.” Todd added that McDaniel “has credibility issues that she still has to deal with.”

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