Top hosts at NBC News criticized their employer for the decision to hire former Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel as a contributor at the media outlet.

NBC News’ chief political analyst Chuck Todd publicly criticized the company on air for putting their journalists in what he called an “uncomfortable” situation on Sunday, after “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker grilled her new colleague, McDaniel, during a 20-minute interview.

On Monday morning, MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough said McDaniel would not appear as a guest on their show because of her involvement in former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The uproar from journalists and staffers — paired with on-air objections — follows the TV network’s internal announcement on Friday that it would enlist McDaniel to provide “an insider’s perspective on national politics and the future of the Republican Party.”

McDaniel — a graduate of Brigham Young University and niece of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney — stepped down from her leadership role with the national Republican Party two weeks earlier on March 8. She had held the position longer than anyone since the Civil War.

A Republican consultant close to McDaniel told the Deseret News on Monday that McDaniel’s relationship with NBC News remained unchanged and that they are “firmly standing behind her.”

The source said claims that McDaniel was complicit in Trump’s fake elector strategy and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot were “misleading” because she was given false reports about how the electors would be used during Trump’s legal challenges to the 2020 election results.

According to the source, the criticisms coming from Todd, Brzezinski, and others say more about the pundits than they do about NBC News’ decision to bring on “a contrasting voice to their worldview.”

“At the end of the day, the outrage by the people that are on the left side of the spectrum on MSNBC, I think it really does show how badly they need a voice like hers to actually get the whole scope of what’s going on in the country,” the source said.

McDaniel was elevated to the top of Republican party politics in 2017 after Trump endorsed her for helping flip Michigan red in the 2016 presidential election as state GOP chair. Her tenure included disappointing Republican elections in 2018, Trump’s loss in 2020 and the expected 2022 “red wave” that never materialized.

Despite initially congratulating McDaniel on winning a historic fourth term, Trump became increasingly hostile toward McDaniel as she insisted on maintaining a neutral stance during the GOP presidential primary season. McDaniel was replaced by Trump’s handpicked successors, former North Carolina state GOP Chairman Michael Whatley and Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump.

The Republican consultant close to McDaniel said her support of Trump represents an important addition to the NBC News networks whose lineup is currently dominated by Democrats or anti-Trump Republicans.

“She has this unique perspective of being a suburban mom in a swing state that was also the chair of the Republican Party and is going to vote for President Trump in November,” they said. “And NBC certainly recognized that they lack that voice — they lack a Trump-voting Republican on their platforms.”

Well-known conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt came to McDaniel’s defense Monday, saying NBC News’ “Meet the Press” should feature McDaniel “as often as possible.” He called her hire “a long overdue effort to try again to regain the center of the Sunday show audience.”

Former Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who served as vice chair on the Jan. 6 select committee, criticized McDaniel for attempting to recast her leadership during the tumultuous years of Trump’s presidency, particularly in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

During her introduction as an NBC contributor on Sunday, McDaniel defended her decision not to communicate a firmer stance on Jan. 6, and Trump’s reaction to it. She said at the time as RNC chair she felt the need to “take one for the whole team.”

“Now I get to be a little bit more myself,” she said.