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    NBC dropping former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel as a contributor

    By Adam CarlsonIsabella Murray,


    Amid outcry from some of their top talent, NBC News is dropping former Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel as a contributor, according to a network memo sent Tuesday.

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

    McDaniel stepped down at the RNC last month and was replaced by two new leaders, including former President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law.

    She defended her time with the party and her views on the 2020 election, Jan. 6 and more in an interview on Sunday on "Meet the Press."

    In that appearance, McDaniel indicated that she was sharing more of her views because she was no longer at the helm of the party.

    "When you're the RNC chair, you kind of take one for the whole team," said McDaniel, who was hand-picked by Trump in late 2016 to steer the party until he pushed for new leadership.

    "Now," McDaniel said on NBC, "I get to be a little bit more myself."

    Among other topics, McDaniel was pressed on "Meet the Press" about her past comments questioning, without evidence, whether President Joe Biden had genuinely won the 2020 election -- and she split from Trump over his support for some of the people convicted for participating in the events of Jan. 6.

    She also defended a Nov. 17, 2020, phone call in which she and Trump were reportedly recorded urging GOP canvassers in Michigan not to sign a certification of the 2020 election results showing that Biden had won.

    She said there had been public backlash to the canvassers as they weighed what to do and, despite what the recording reportedly showed, she told them to "vote your conscience" but wasn't "pushing them to do anything."

    While moderator Kristen Welker said that McDaniel was appearing on Sunday for a news interview, that was overshadowed by NBC's separate announcement that they were hiring her as an analyst.

    In a memo sent Friday about McDaniel joining NBC, executive Carrie Budoff Brown praised her as an illuminating voice in an "important moment."
    Michael Wyke/AP, FILE - PHOTO: Ronna McDaniel, the outgoing Republican National Committee chairwoman, gives her last speech in the position at the general session of the RNC Spring Meeting, on March 8, 2024, in Houston.

    "As chair of the Republican National Committee, she spent nearly eight years at the highest levels of American politics ... [S]he will support our leading coverage by providing an insider’s perspective on national politics and on the future of the Republican Party — which she led through some of the most turbulent and challenging moments in political history," Brown wrote, in part.

    But by Sunday's "Meet the Press" interview, the criticism of McDaniel and her relationship to Trump and past comments on the 2020 election was mounting, including from Chuck Todd -- who raised "credibility issues" -- as well as MSNBC "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Rachel Maddow and others.

    "I mean, you wouldn’t hire a wiseguy, you wouldn’t hire a made man like a mobster to work at a DA’s office, right?" Maddow said on the air on Monday.

    Ari Melber, another MSNBC host, commented Tuesday on McDaniel no longer contributing to the network and touched on the broader controversy that erupted internally.

    "If you watch MSNBC, as you probably do if you're listening to me right now, or you follow news media and politics, this has been a roiling debate since that initial announcement was made on Friday," Melber said on his eponymous show.

    Conde, the NBCU News Group chair, touched on the backlash as well.

    "No organization, particularly a newsroom, can succeed unless it is cohesive and aligned. Over the last few days, it has become clear that this appointment undermines that goal," he wrote in Tuesday's memo.

    "Our initial decision was made because of our deep commitment to presenting our audiences with a widely diverse set of viewpoints and experiences, particularly during these consequential times," he continued. "We continue to be committed to the principle that we must have diverse viewpoints on our programs, and to that end, we will redouble our efforts to seek voices that represent different parts of the political spectrum."

    ABC News has not been able to reach McDaniel for comment.

    Trump reacted to the news of McDaniel no longer being an NBC News contributor, mocking her on his social media platform Truth Social saying she "only lasted two days ... after McDaniel went out of her way to say what they wanted to hear."

    "It leaves her in a very strange place," he wrote.

    ABC News' Soo Rin Kim and Jolie Lash contributed to this report.

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