Kathie Lee Gifford Defends Matt Lauer On Air
"Guess what America—it isn't true."
That's Kathie Lee Gifford's message to America as she comes to the defense of her embattled colleague, Matt Lauer.
Speaking out on the Today show Monday, Gifford says Lauer is not the monster he's been portrayed as in the press.
"This person that we read about is not the person we know every single day here," said Gifford.
Gifford actually organized a letter of support for Lauer, signed by hundreds of Today show staffers. Just about everybody signed, but not Ann Curry.
Hoda Kotb said, "This isn't really about Ann, this is about another member of our family, which is important to know. that this is in support of Matt."
Gifford felt the need to speak out after a new book called Top of The Morning claimed that Matt Lauer was a major figure in the conspiracy to push Ann Curry off the show.
Gifford wanted to publish the letter in a full-page ad in USA Today, which would have cost her $250,000, something she had to clear with her husband.
Gifford said on the Today show, "I had to pass this by Frank, of course, and he said, 'Well, how much is it going to cost?" and I told him and he goes, 'How much?' and I said, 'It's going to cost this' and he said, "You got to do it.' "
In the end, Lauer asked her not to publish it. But Gifford still spoke in his defense for almost seven minutes on the air.
"It's almost like you're in a playground and this bully just keeps beating up the same kid everyday," she said.
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent caught up with Today show personalities Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.
Trent asked Roker, "Matt's a friend of yours. How's he handling this criticism?"
"He's doing his job. That's what we're all doing," replied Roker.
Guthrie said, "In reality, we are just doing the show," said Guthrie.
Meantime, Kathie Lee Gifford says she just wants the world to know what kind of guy Lauer really is.
"I told Matt that, and he teared up. He's a class act and a good man all the way around," said Gifford.