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Matt Lauer Would Have Been "First to Congratulate" Hoda Kotb on New 'Today' Gig, Says Kathie Lee Gifford

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After Matt Lauer was fired from the Today show amid accusations of sexual assault, Hoda Kotb started pulling double duty — joining Savannah Guthrie for the first two hours of the NBC morning show while keeping her fourth-hour spot alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. Now, NBC is making that her permanent schedule, and Kathie Lee says Hoda would have Matt’s blessing.

"The whole thing with Matt is not something we want to get into,” she told People on Tuesday, Jan. 2. "We love this man and we are heartbroken about him being gone. Our sense of joy is tempered by our sense of loss. The best way to say it is that it’s a bit bittersweet. Nobody wants to profit off of someone’s pain. But this is reality. It’s a business, and someone has to move on. Matt would be the first to congratulate her and wish her well."

Kathie Lee also gushed that she wholeheartedly endorses the Today change-up. "I feel happy for her because she is having the greatest year of her life, and if she’s happy, I’m happy for her,” the 64-year-old said. "What’s happening to her now is something she would have given anything for earlier on in her career... Nobody is as good as what they do as Hoda. Nobody spreads more joy."

Those are hardly the only kind words Kathie Lee had for her longtime colleague and close friend. "I cant think about a more beloved person than Hoda at the show. Everybody universally adores her. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She’s more loving and kind, so when these wonderful things started happening for this wonderful woman, we were thrilled for her... She’s already the hardest working woman there. She figured out a way to keep everything that is bringing great joy into her life and have this dream job," she said. Anyone who is that nice that early in the morning definitely deserves a dream job! But we’ll see what Matt says if he ever resurfaces…

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