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Jenna Bush Hager leaves Today fans moved with heartfelt statement

The TV star joined the NBC show in 2009

jenna bush hager
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
May 13, 2022
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Jenna Bush Hager has had many career highs over the last 13 years of working on Today and as the show celebrated its 70th anniversary she shared some of them with her fans. 

Talking at New York City's Paley Center this week, the TV host surprised viewers with comments about her role, her co-hosts and how she feels about her job today.

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Speaking about when her position alongside Hoda Kotb was confirmed, the daughter of former US President George W. Bush said: "I was so excited. When my dad called - and I don't even know if Hoda knows this - and he said, 'But you know Hoda's the star, right?' And I said, 'Yes, Dad, I'm very well aware.'"

WATCH: Jenna Bush Hager opens up about her time on Today with Hoda Kotb 

She continued: "It's just such an honor. I mean Kathie Lee is a legend, and listen, I went to a lot of lunches and drank Chardonnay at 11am so that I could be ushered in to that seat."

Jenna then mentioned her twin sister, Barbara and how she compared her career to her sibling's meaningful job.  

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"My sister is in global health and she does really important work," the mom-of-three said. "I would say, 'Oh, I just sit next to Hoda or Kathie Lee,' as the years of filling in, 'and drink Chardonnay' and sort of be self-deprecating." 

hoda kotb jenna bush hager

Jenna said she adores working with Hoda on their show 

However: "Since the pandemic, I don't do that anymore," said Jenna. "Because Hoda and I have been together where people have said, 'You got me through a really hard time. You make me smile.'

"And so I think none of us take what we do lightly. It's important and it's fun. I get to sit next to Hoda Kotb every single day."

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The clip was shared on their show's Instagram feed and fans posted emotional comments, thanking them for brightening their day and for being such amazing TV hosts. 

Jenna Bush Hager cover

Jenna also spoke about comparing her job to her twin sister Barbara's career

Though Jenna started working on the Today show as a correspondent in 2009, she only joined Hoda on 3rd Hour with Hoda and Jenna ten years later in 2019.

When asked at the event what her first memory of Today was, she confessed that it was long before her position on the show was even on the horizon, before she was even out of elementary school!

The star recalled: "The first memory… is being six years old in my grandparents house and listening to Willard Scott do the birthdays, and now I'm part of this incredible family and institution. How?! It's amazing and a dream."

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