Ronna McDaniel speaks to the audience at the third Republican candidates' US presidential debate of the 2024 US presidential campaign hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, US, November 8, 2023.
CNN  — 

NBC News on Friday announced that it had hired Ronna McDaniel, the former Republican National Committee chair who has repeatedly attacked the network and its journalists, assailed the news media as “fake news” and promoted false claims around the 2020 vote, as an on-air commentator ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

“It couldn’t be a more important moment to have a voice like Ronna’s on the team,” Carrie Budoff Brown, senior vice president of politics at NBC News, said in a memo to staff.

McDaniel exited the RNC earlier this month after leading the organization since 2016.

During her time as chair, McDaniel repeatedly attacked the press, which has become increasingly popular in Republican circles over the last several years as Donald Trump demonizes journalists and news institutions.

McDaniel echoed many such attacks, labeling the press as “fake news” and calling the media “corrupt.” At times, she even targeted NBC News and MSNBC with dishonest attacks.

In 2019, for instance, McDaniel accused Richard Engel, NBC News’ chief foreign correspondent, of “actively cheering for an economic downturn.”

“How can NBC let him keep his job when he’s made his bias so clear?” McDaniel asked.

McDaniel has a lengthier history attacking the progressive cable news channel MSNBC, which she will appear on in her new role. In recent years, she has repeatedly attacked the channel for “spreading lies” and blasted those she described as the network’s “primetime propagandists.”

An NBC spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment about her attacks on the news media and NBC.

In her role as RNC chief, McDaniel also fanned the flames of election denialism after the 2020 presidential contest.

McDaniel was involved in a phone call in 2020 to pressure Michigan county officials not to certify the vote from the Detroit area, where Joe Biden had a commanding lead. McDaniel told the officials, regarding the certification: “Do not sign it. … We will get you attorneys.”

The Michigan Department of State’s office condemned her claims of supposed voter fraud in the wake of the election, stating they had “no merit.” The state’s “elections were conducted fairly, effectively and transparently and are an accurate reflection of the will of Michigan voters,” it said in a detailed fact check posted online.

In an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace last year, McDaniel defended her claims of voting “irregularity” in the election.

“I think saying that there were problems with 2020 is very real. I don’t think that’s election denying,” McDaniel told Wallace. “I’m from Wayne County. We had a woman send a note saying I’m being told to backdate ballots. We had to look into that. That’s deeply concerning. When you have friends who are poll-watching and being kicked out, that’s deeply concerning. We have every right to look at that.”

In the interview, Wallace pressed McDaniel if she believed Biden legitimately won the election.

“I think there were lots of problems with 2020. Ultimately, he won the election but there were lots of problems with the 2020 election,” she said. “But I don’t think he won it fair. I don’t. I’m not going to say that.”

NBC’s hiring of McDaniel, however, plays into a recent trend at the network’s outlets, which has seemingly softened its stance on Trump as he inches toward the Republican nomination for president.

Earlier this month, CNBC hosted Trump for a lengthy phone interview in which the network’s anchors allowed him to peddle lies and conspiracy theories on air without scrutiny.

MSNBC has even started carrying Trump’s remarks live on television, a practice that the network boasted for years it would not do. Star host Rachel Maddow, who has said carrying Trump’s lies on the air is dangerous, even objected to the network broadcasting a recent speech from the presumptive Republican nominee, calling it “irresponsible.”