The Joke Jenna Bush Hager Once Made About Her Marriage That Went 'Too Far'

Co-hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb bring humor to "Today with Hoda & Jenna," but one joke made by Hager was taken back immediately, due to her wanting to make it clear that it was not serious in the slightest. It started with Bush Hager and her co-host Hoda Kotb talking about how attractive it is to see a man reading.

"I'm dehydrated when a man takes out a book," Bush Hager said in the October 2023 episode. Kotb then offered up a hypothetical of what would run through Bush Hager's mind if she saw a man reading in Central Park. Bush Hager brought up the added benefit of a man in glasses and said, "And if they're reading something I respect, oh. I mean that could be means for an affair — I'm just kidding! I would never do that. I would never."

Bush Hager added that she and her husband, Henry Hager, "are very happy" and that he's a bookworm himself. When Kotb questioned Bush Hager's sudden need to backtrack, the former first daughter said that with her affair joke, "I went too far."

Hoda Kotb once went too far by spilling one of Jenna Bush Hager's secrets

The quickly rescinded affair joke is not the only time Jenna Bush Hager has maybe said too much on the air. It sometimes has been her co-host's fault. In 2022, Hoda Kotb spilled a fashion secret of Hager's that the book lover could not deny: Hager doesn't underwear.

"It makes a more pretty silhouette!" Bush Hager said on the show (via People). She defended herself and listed off the benefits of no underwear before saying to Kotb: "You promised me you wouldn't do this! There's a lot of people here! I'm sure my mom has never been more proud."

Hager has also spilled her own secrets from her past — including the past of her relationship with Henry Hager. The couple used to cause major trouble for the Secret Service, and Hager once told Kotb about the time Hager's car rolled down a hill and hit the Secret Service's car. Another time she divulged that Hager tried to stealthily leave the White House after spending the night with her. Unfortunately, he couldn't leave without the Secret Service letting him out of the gate.

Jenna Bush Hager's love of books extends to her book club

Like some of her more scandalous secrets, Jenna Bush Hager's passion for books is something she's not shy about. Hager even has her own "Read With Jenna" book club where she shares monthly book club picks, which she runs in conjunction with "Today."

In September 2023 Hager announced the "Read With Jenna" podcast where she sits down with authors. "I love talking with authors — hearing about the inspirations for their books, their process, who they were as kids and who they are now," Hager told Today. "I can't wait to bring their stories to as many listeners as possible."

Not only is Bush Hager an avid reader, but she is also an author herself. She published the memoir "Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life" with her sister Barbara Bush in 2017. In 2019, the Bush twins went forward with a new business venture and published a fictional children's book titled just "Sisters First." They collaborated on a children's book again in 2023 with "Love Comes First." Hager has also co-written children's books with her mother Laura Bush and written some books on her own, such as the nonfiction essay collection "Everything Beautiful in Its Time."