George W. Bush Wishes Daughter Jenna Bush Hager Luck On Her ‘Today’ Debut In Sweet Video Message

Jenna Bush Hager speaks on stage as she attends Hudson River Park Friends Playground Committee Fourth Annual Luncheon at Current at Chelsea Piers on January 25, 2019 in New York City.
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Jenna Bush Hager began her new job as co-host of Today‘s fourth hour with overwhelming support from her family. The author joined Hoda Kotb for their first episode together on Monday morning. Kotb gave Bush Hager a warm welcome by surprising her with adorable video messages from her father, former president George W. Bush, her mother, former first lady Laura Bush, and her twin sister, Barbara Bush.

Footage from Monday’s milestone episode shows Kotb directing Bush Hager’s attention to a screen to watch videos from “a few people who wanted to wish [her] luck,” according to Entertainment Tonight. Bush then appeared on-screen in a suit with a sweet message for his daughter.

“Hey Jenna, your old dad here on film to tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of you,” he said. “I know you’ll do a fabulous job.”

Next up, Bush Hager’s mother and mother-in-law called in to say that they were “so proud of her.”

“Congratulations. We love you,” Margaret Hager said.

The camera then turned back to Bush Hager, who was already tearing up at the support from her parents. She joked that she’s going to be crying all the time now. On a more serious note, Kotb asked if Bush Hager’s parents had said anything to her before she debuted as the new host. The mother of two revealed that former President Bush did send her a text.

“You go, girl. You’ve got them, girl. Very proud dad,” the text message read.

Bush Hager also received a sweet video message from her sister, who explained that she’s grateful to have grown up with a twin to “walk through life” with.

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“I’m so proud of my sister and I’m so excited for her on this new adventure,” Barbara said. “I’m thrilled that she and Hoda will get to work together because Jenna is such a good sister to me, but, in many ways, such a good sister to her colleagues and friends.”

Later on, Bush Hager’s daughters — Margaret, 5, and Poppy, 3 — joined their mother on set, People reported. The little girls appeared wearing matching dresses and holding roses for the new television personality. In their own video message, Margaret and Poppy congratulated their mother and asked if they could be on the show.

The surprises left Bush Hager in more tears, prompting her to joke that she is a “wreck.”

Bush Hager replaced long-time show host Kathie Lee Gifford, who retired from Today after an 11-year-long run alongside Kotb. Gifford received a send-off to remember during her last episode on Friday, complete with musical performances, special guests, and prizes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.