Reince Priebus on McDaniel: NBC should have 'brought her in' before signing contract

Former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Reince Priebus said Sunday that NBC News’s management should have done a better job properly vetting former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel before deciding to hire her as a paid contributor.

In a panel discussion on ABC News’s “This Week,” Priebus said that, as a paid contributor at ABC News, he was surprised to see that McDaniel, his RNC successor, had not been brought on the show ahead of time to see if she could part ways with some of her rehearsed talking points.

“The case on Ronna that I find to be obvious for someone like me, who’s a contributor here, I’ve been at other places. I’ve never been hired without the management bringing me in, meeting with people, doing interviews where I wasn’t on a signed contract, finding out whether I could get off the talking points or not,” Priebus said when asked for his perspective on the controversy at NBC News surrounding McDaniel’s hiring and speedy firing after employee backlash.

“The root of the problem is that the management never brought her in, before the contract was signed, so that all of this stuff could get worked out. And that was a huge failure in my opinion,” Priebus continued.

NBC News announced they would part ways with McDaniel shortly after they had announced her hiring as a paid contributor.

Several big names spoke out against the decision to hire her — including “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd — noting both the way McDaniel paid lip service to Trump’s grievances surrounding his 2020 election loss, but also highlighting her attacks on certain NBC News journalists.

In the discussion on Sunday, ABC News anchor Martha Raddatz pointed out that Priebus, a contributor for ABC, has never denied the legitimacy of the 2020 election.

Priebus did not say whether he agrees with the criticism that McDaniel should be barred from major network and cable shows because of her role in undermining the public’s faith in the election system. He reiterated, however, his position about the election.

“Well, first of all, I mean, my take on it is that a candidate has every right to bring challenges, cases, you know, things that they didn’t think went well in the election, recounts if close enough under state law, but once the cases are over, once you go through that process, it’s done, whether you like the outcome or not,” he said.

The Hill has reached out to NBC News for a response.

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