Press releases

NBC News should reconsider its decision to hire former RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, NCEI co-chairs say

Media Contact

Cory Combs

Director of Media Relations

In a new letter addressed to NBC News leadership, the co-chairs of Issue One’s bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity (NCEI) today called on the network to reconsider its recent decision to hire former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel as a political analyst.

“During her tenure as the chair of the RNC, Ms. McDaniel’s propagation of baseless conspiracy theories significantly undermined public trust in our electoral processes,” the letter states. “During the 2020 election, her unfounded allegations regarding ballots in Rochester Hills, Michigan, were not only false but dangerously inflammatory. Her statements led to horrific death threats against Tina Barton, the city clerk of Rochester Hills, and contributed to the rancorous political environment and incitement that resulted in the deadly attack on our Capitol on January 6, 2021.”

The letter continues: “As bipartisan leaders committed to upholding the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power, we urge NBC News to reconsider their decision to hire Ms. McDaniel. The role of the media in fostering an informed citizenry is critical, especially in our current perniciously polarized environment, and it is imperative that those in influential positions demonstrate a commitment to the truth and respect for our democratic institutions.”

“Former RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has for years cast doubt on our country’s free and fair elections — seeking to undermine the will of the voters and echoing dangerous and anti-democratic claims that the 2020 election was ‘rigged,’” said Rep. Edwards, who is also an MSNBC contributor. “In no world is McDaniel a credible source for news and commentary. As a legacy news organization with a remarkable history, NBC News made a serious error in judgment by hiring McDaniel as a political analyst. I join my friends and colleagues at MSNBC who have expressed their disappointment in the network’s decision. At a time when our information environment is already polluted with lies and conspiracy theories, McDaniel should not be rewarded for her dishonesty. I urge NBC News to terminate their agreement with her immediately.”

“It’s disappointing that NBC News would sign Ronna McDaniel to an on-air contract after she enabled and perpetrated lies about our elections,” said Rep. Comstock. “As Liz Cheney pointed out: ‘Ronna facilitated Trump’s corrupt fake elector plot and his effort to pressure Michigan officials not to certify the legitimate election outcome. She spread his lies and called January 6th ‘legitimate political discourse.’ That’s not ‘taking one for the team.’ It’s enabling criminality and depravity.’ As we enter an election year where election security is a serious issue, someone who approached it in such a frivolous manner and continues to defend the indefensible should remove herself from this situation if NBC doesn’t.”

“I highly value and deeply respect diversity of opinions. Our bipartisan efforts to protect our democracy are articulated by Democrats, Republicans, and independents,” said Amb. Roemer. “Conversely, former Chairwoman McDaniel has rigidly defended lies about the 2020 election being stolen and spread misinformation about the January 6th attack on our Capitol. These should be clear red lines for a news outlet like NBC News, and their decision to hire McDaniel does great harm to America.”

“Ronna McDaniel is a vociferous election denier and an untrustworthy figure in American politics who does not deserve the platform NBC News has afforded her,” said Rep. Wamp. “While we can disagree with one another and hold different political beliefs, there are certain values that are fundamental to American democracy and are non-negotiable: that our elections are free and fair, we respect the will of the voters and transfer power peacefully, we oppose political violence, and we stand for the rule of law. The truth is not partisan, and NBC News should lead by example and not succumb to ratings or revenue if the subjects involved have violated these basic tenets.”

Read the full letter and learn more about Issue One’s National Council on Election Integrity.