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Today's Justin Sylvester opens up about working with Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb

The TV host spoke out


hoda kotb jenna bush hager swimsuits
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
August 20, 2022
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Justin Sylvester has won legions of loyal fans after standing in for Hoda Kotb on the Today show but he was recently forced to speak out over an on-air moment with Jenna Bush Hager.

Fans picked up on an interaction between Justin and the mom-of-three during a cooking segment with Andy Baraghani.

MORE: Hoda Kotb overcome with emotion after heartwarming reunion on Today

The stand-in host seemingly pushed Jenna away when she placed a hand on his shoulder. 

WATCH: Jenna Bush Hager's rise to fame 

However, there was absolutely no bad blood between the two hosts and there was a hilarious reason for why Justin moved Jenna to one side.

Speaking on social media, he said: "People thought that she was invading my space and that’s actually not the truth. What we were doing was — we were both flirting — well, I was flirting with the chef because he was cute. 

MORE: Hoda Kotb jokes about her fears of getting fired 

MORE: Why Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie keep taking time off Today

"And I was pushing her out the way so I could have a one-on-one moment with the chef and people took it the wrong way."

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Justin called Jenna one of the nicest people he's ever met 

Justin then praised Jenna for "championing" for him and said that she was "one of the nicest, most welcoming people that I've ever met."

And that goes for Hoda too. "They’re so good to me," he added.  "Jenna is awesome and she was a big champion of mine, still is. And, you know, I like her. I hate that people are taking it out of context."

MORE: Hoda Kotb shares heartfelt message to Savannah Guthrie as they embrace in sweet photo

MORE: Savannah Guthrie reveals what she really thinks of Hoda Kotb

While fans have - for the most part - loved Jenna and Justin's chemistry they also miss Hoda when she's away as they find the friends a constant source of entertainment too. 

hoda kotb jenna bush hager© Photo: Getty Images

Justin was standing in for Hoda Kotb

They are incredibly close both on-screen and off, with Jenna recently opening up about working on the NBC daytime show while talking to HELLO!.

"I feel like Hoda and I laugh hysterically, we can get into that laughter where we're not supposed to laugh," Jenna admitted. "That church laughter where we're like 'We're going to get into trouble'," she shared.

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