Proud parents! Jenna Bush Hager was surprised with a video of support from her dad, George W. Bush, mom Laura Bush and mother-in-law Margaret Hager during her first day as Hoda Kotb’s cohost during the fourth hour of the Today show on Monday, April 8.
“Hey, Jenna, your old dad here on film to tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of you,” the former president, 72, said. “I know you’ll do a fabulous job.”
Laura, also 72, and Hager then appeared on the screen. “Jenna, your mother and your mother-in-law are calling to say we’re so proud of you!” the former first lady gushed. “Congratulations, Jenna, we love you,” added Margaret.
As Kotb, 54, smiled at the sweet gesture, Jenna, 37, broke down in happy tears as she watched the message. “Is this what’s going to happen? I’m just going to cry all the time?” the Sisters First author asked. “That was so sweet.”
Jenna also chatted about the offscreen good luck her parents sent her way on Monday. “My dad texted me this morning and he was like — he’s a man of very few words via text — he said, ‘You go, girl. You’ve got them, girl. I’m a very proud dad.’”
The video message wasn’t the only thing Jenna was gifted with during her first day on the job. Kotb presented the Texas native with her very own, personalized wine glass from a fan — to which she has a matching one!
— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) April 8, 2019
And last but not least, Jenna’s husband, Henry Hager, and daughters Mila, 5, and Poppy, 3, took the stage to surprise her, with the little girls handing their mom roses. “I’m a wreck!” Jenna exclaimed.
Us Weekly confirmed in February that Jenna was set to permanently replace Kathie Lee Gifford following her exit from the morning talk show earlier this month. “Jenna is liked by everyone at Today,” a source told Us at the time. “She’s a hard worker and treats the staff with care and respect. Jenna is open to direction and hungry to learn. She never makes a big deal about being the President’s daughter.”
Gifford, 65, announced in December that she was ending her nearly 11-year stint on the show.