Ingraham Tells Off Lauer: ‘Press Has Its Own Problems With Credibility’

Appearing on Thursday’s NBC Today, nationally syndicated radio host and potential new White House press secretary Laura Ingraham hit back at co-host Matt Lauer for suggesting that the Trump administration would have “fence-mending” to do with the media after the President-Elect “spent the last year and a half basically calling members of the press and the media crooked, corrupt, dishonest.”

Ingraham pointed out: “I think the press has its own problems with credibility and building back credibility with the American people. Every poll, not conservative polls, show that there are a lot of folks out there who believe the media is really biased and really was in the tank for Hillary Clinton....that's the way most people view the press today. I think the press has a lot of work to do to build back its own credibility.”

A post-election Media Research Center/YouGov poll found that the public saw media bias in favor of Clinton by a three-to-one margin.

Earlier in the Today show exchange, co-host Savannah Guthrie laughingly worried about Ingraham having too much of a “sharp tongue” for a White House role: “Laura, we know you, we know your show, you have a sharp tongue, you’re known for your sharp pen....You know, this is one of those jobs where could create an international incident from the White House briefing room.”

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Ingraham dismissed the criticism: “Oh, Savannah, sharp tongue? Oh, please....Is that what you are really worried about, an international incident?”

She shared her full resume with viewers:

Look, I think some folks who are watching now, they – you know, conservative talk show host? But I was a Supreme Court clerk, I worked as a white collar litigator at Skadden Arps. You know, I have a pretty broad career in both government, as a young speech writer in the Reagan administration, I worked at the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, and the White House in domestic policy. So, you know, I understand there's a stereotype out there and that's fine.

Here is a full transcript of the November 17 segment:

7:05 AM ET

MATT LAUER: One name being floated as a potential White House press secretary is nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham. She's also editor-in-chief of LifeZette and a Fox News contributor. Laura, it’s nice to see you, good morning.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Good morning.

LAURA INGRAHAM: Good to see you, guys.

LAUER: Have you talked about this job? Has it been offered to you?

INGRAHAM: Well, I think it – I think they're focused right now on the cabinet, which is, I think, the proper priority for things. I mean, you want to get your cabinet people in place, and then you move down to other White House staff. You know, the folks at the Trump transition, a lot of them are very old friends of mine, we’ve known each other for a long time. We know our writing styles, we know our speaking styles. And so, yeah, it’s interesting to be –  

LAUER: I'm going to take this as a strong yes. I'm going to take this as you've talked about it. Do you want it, I guess, is the other question?

INGRAHAM: Well, you know, I – we have to have real conversations. And it really is a privilege – I know it sounds cliche – it’s a privilege to be considered. But they have an amazing group of young people at the campaign and at the transition who really – they did the work to get Donald Trump elected and they have a lot of talent to choose from. It's nice to be considered but they have a lot of great people there, so that's all I can say right now.

GUTHRIE: Real, quickly, Laura, we know you, we know your show, you have a sharp tongue, you’re known for your sharp pen –

INGRAHAM: Oh, Savannah, sharp tongue? Oh, please.

[LAUGHTER]  

GUTHRIE: You know, this is one of those jobs where could create an international incident from the White House briefing room.

INGRAHAM: Is that what you are really worried about, an international incident? Look, I think some folks who are watching now, they – you know, conservative talk show host? But I was a Supreme Court clerk, I worked as a white collar litigator at Skadden Arps. You know, I have a pretty broad career in both government, as a young speech writer in the Reagan administration, I worked at the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education, and the White House in domestic policy. So, you know, I understand there's a stereotype out there and that's fine.

LAUER: More than meets the eye, okay. We get that, we get that.

INGRAHAM: Yeah, there’s a little more. And I’m a mother of three children who I just left at home.

GUTHRIE: Yes, you are.

LAUER: You make all your own clothes, great dancer, all that stuff.

INGRAHAM: I do. Matt, you’ve already pegged me. Thank you so much.

LAUER: Alright, lets move on here. Nikki Haley said some tough things about Donald Trump during the campaign, he said some tough things about her. It was only at the very end, Laura, where she seemed to begrudgingly say, “I’ll vote for Donald Trump.” Is she seriously being considered for Secretary of State? Would she be good for the job?

INGRAHAM: I think it shows that Donald Trump is not shutting out voices who were critical of him in the campaign. For all the talk that Trump's going to be this guy who holds grudges against – that’s just not the way he is. He’s very practical and very pragmatic. He might not be as ideological as some conservatives want him to be, I understand that concern. He's very pragmatic and I think he’s going to look at people with a wide variety of talents. You’re seeing that in the people coming and going from Trump Tower right now. And if she’s there, I imagine she’s there to be considered for a serious position, but I do not have any inside information about what position Nikki Haley would be considered for.
    
LAUER: Alright, let me do this. Let’s start – let’s end where we started. Let me go back to you and the potential that you’re White House press secretary. What’s the dynamic gonna be in that press room? Because Donald Trump spent the last year and a half basically calling members of the press and the media crooked, corrupt, dishonest. Is there gonna have to be some fence-mending for whoever takes that position?

INGRAHAM: Well, I think one thing that is going to be important, I would imagine, for the Trump folks, is to have a very, you know, transparent and practical approach to the press. I mean, I think the press has its own problems with credibility and building back credibility with the American people. Every poll, not conservative polls, show that there are a lot of folks out there who believe the media is really biased and really was in the tank for Hillary Clinton. And I know people don't like to hear that, but that's the way most people view the press today. I think the press has a lot of work to do to build back its own credibility.

And I think for Donald Trump, I think he wants someone who knows the issues, who’s going to try to explain them to the American people, and keep people updated. I don't think it's all that complicated. If you understand the agenda that the Trump folks are going to be pursuing, then you’ll be better prepared to take that message to the American people and to the press. I think there are a lot of great people in the press. I’ve known a lot of the reporters who are covering the White House for many, many years, I happen to be friends with a lot of them. We don't agree on everything, but that's okay. I think this is going to be a process and people want clarity right off the bat. But I think it’s gonna have to develop in its own way.

GUTHRIE: Alright, Laura, here's a quickie for you. Do you think that Donald Trump should appoint a special prosecutor to look into Hillary Clinton, as he mentioned and some of his supporters really wanted him to do?

INGRAHAM: I mean, I’m not thinking I’m going to be in the Justice Department right now. I’m just – I don't have a view on that. I think there are a lot of people who just want to turn the page and move past this very rancorous time in American politics. You know, if I were on the outside commenting on it, I probably would say let's move forward and get beyond that, I don’t think most Americans want to spend months and months and months going through, you know, what the Clintons did or didn’t do at the foundation or with the private server. That’s my own sense. Again, I’m not speaking for the administration, but I think a lot of people want to turn the page and they want a fresh start.

LAUER: Alright, Laura Ingraham. Laura, I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing more of you. That’s just my hunch.

INGRAHAM: Matt, I like the beard, too.

LAUER: Thank you.

INGRAHAM: I’m not a beard – but it looks really good on you, excellent. Very cool.

LAUER: Thank you very much. We’ll see you soon, alright?

INGRAHAM: Alright, take care.

GUTHRIE: Thank you, Laura.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Trump transition Conservatives & Republicans NBC Today Video Matt Lauer Savannah Guthrie Laura Ingraham Donald Trump

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