Jenna Bush Hager Apologizes to Hoda Kotb for Not Being There for Her While Her Daughter Was in the Hospital

Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb have shared plenty of beautiful, touching, and precious moments on live television since joining forces on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna in April 2019. After more than four years together, the two co-hosts continue to prove that those moments aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. 

During Wednesday’s episode, Hoda and Jenna were talking about the term ‘brutally honest. While they believe in being ‘honest,’ they agreed that they don’t necessarily believe in being ‘brutal’ about it – adding that there should be a new word for it. That conversation sparked quite an emotional flashback for Jenna. 

“When Hoda’s daughter wasn’t feeling well, I just wasn’t there for her the way I wanted to be. And I didn’t know how to be, and I felt terrible about it,” Jenna explained. “But I didn’t know what to do. So I just said it. I said ‘I feel like I haven’t been there for you,’” she continued – fighting back tears as she recalled it. 

RELATED: Hoda Kotb Thanks Viewers for Outpouring of Support After Sharing Daughter’s Scary Health News

Hoda Kotb’s 3-year-old daughter, Hope, spent a few days in the ICU and a week in the hospital back in March – Hoda was away from work during this time. While Jenna Bush Hager felt like she was failing with her supportive duties towards her co-host, she decided to be honest with Hoda and change her ways. 

“If you don’t tell the truth – like there was a time where I was feeling a little sad with you (Hoda). And not because you had done anything, but because I didn’t do anything. And I was holding it and holding it until I exploded. So, if you can’t tell the truth, that would be horrible,” she added during the TODAY segment.

Hoda Kotb went on to discuss the ‘release’ and ‘relief’ we feel when telling the truth or when we’re honest with one another. While she admits it’s hard to tell the truth, she believes holding the truth in does much more damage because we often forget about it, but the guilt we feel never goes away until we say it.

Hoda also talked about a time when someone told her she shouldn’t wear sleeveless shirts on air, adding it came across as disrespectful and rude. She explained how close friends and loved ones can usually get away with brutal honesty because it comes from a place of love, but that’s not true with everyone.

Hoda Kotb Praises Jenna Bush Hager for Being Honest

During their talk about ‘brutal honesty’ on Wednesday, Hoda Kotb couldn’t help but praise her co-host, Jenna Bush Hager, for always being so honest. “You’re always so honest. I think it’s such a good thing,” she said – adding she was surprised that Jenna was ‘bringing it up,” referring to her recent story of guilt. 

Speaking of that story, Hoda said she remembers the day Jenna was honest with her – calling it ‘one of the most beautiful statements’ she has ever made, adding that Jenna has had so many of them through the years. “It touched me deeply. And it meant everything to me that you said that,” she continued.

Hoda’s daughter ended up being okay, but she hasn’t discussed any further details about the health scare. Hoda eventually returned to the show, but it wasn’t long before both Jenna and Hoda were gone from the show – this time, they were spending quality time with their children, who were on spring break.

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Hoda Kotb has two adopted daughters – Haley Joy, 6, and Hope Catherine, 3 – who she co-parents with Joel Schiffman, who she used to be engaged to. Jenna Bush Hager has three children – Margaret “Mila” Laura, 9, Poppy Louise, 7, and Henry “Hal” Harold, 3 – who she shares with husband  Henry Chase Hager.

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