NBC Fires Ronna McDaniel Amid Election Lies Backlash

Ronna McDaniel, the onetime head of the Republican National Committee who helped former President Donald Trump spread lies about the 2020 election, was axed from her job at NBC News on Tuesday, just one week after her hiring was announced.

McDaniel was ousted following a meeting of top executives from NBC amid growing backlash to her hiring last week. McDaniel used her position as the RNC chair to spread falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election, and continued calling the election results into question even after thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Every one of us knows we can never let what we saw in 2020 happen ever again,” McDaniel said during her party’s summer meeting in August 2021. “Democrats waged war on election transparency, security and integrity — undermining our elections, and we at the RNC are using every tool at our disposal to protect the vote.”

NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced McDaniel’s firing in an email to staff late Tuesday afternoon.

“There is no doubt that the last several days have been difficult for the News Group,” Conde said. “After listening to the legitimate concerns of many of you, I have decided that Ronna McDaniel will not be an NBC News contributor.”

Creative Artists Agency, which helped broker the deal to bring McDaniel on as a political analyst for the network, also cut ties with McDaniel on Tuesday, Variety reported. CAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

McDaniel announced her departure as the RNC’s chair in February as Lara Trump, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, took over as co-chair. McDaniel was then hired by NBC to be an on-air contributor, the network announced last week.

“It couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” NBC News executive Carrie Budoff Brown said in a memo Friday, adding that McDaniel’s hiring would give “an insider’s perspective on national politics and the future of the Republican Party.”

Backlash to the news was widespread, with several prominent hosts and contributors for NBC expressing their frustration with the hiring. Just minutes after McDaniel made her debut on the network Sunday, Chuck Todd blasted the decision.

“So when NBC made the decision to give her NBC News’ credibility, you’ve got to ask yourself, ‘What does she bring NBC News?’” Todd asked on “Meet the Press,” a program that he previously moderated.

And MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dedicated 29 minutes of her show on Monday to lambaste the decision, calling McDaniel’s hiring “inexplicable” and likening it to the hiring of a “mobster to work at the DA’s office.”

“I want to associate myself with all my colleagues, both at MSNBC and NBC News, who have voiced loud and principled objections to our company putting on the payroll someone who has not just attacked us as journalists, but is part of an ongoing project to get rid of our system of government,” Maddow said in part.

In his email to staff, Conde apologized for the hiring decision.

“I want to personally apologize to our team members who felt we let them down,” he said. “While this was a collective recommendation by some members of our leadership team, I approved it and take full responsibility for it.”