Jenna Bush Hager Joked She Would Have an Affair With a Hot Man Reading — But Says She Went ‘Too Far’

Jenna Bush Hager walked back a joke she made about having an affair — and admits she went “too far.”

On the Monday, October 9, episode of Today With Hoda & Jenna, Bush Hager, 41, and Hoda Kotb, 59, were discussing an article titled “The Thirstiest Thing a Man Can Do Is Read.”

The coanchors agreed with the site’s sentiment, with Bush Hager — who shares three children with husband Henry Hager — even joking that she gets “dehydrated” whenever “a man takes out a book.

“It’s hot,” Kotb agreed, asking her coanchor what she thinks when she sees a man sitting on a park bench reading in Central Park.

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“If they have little eyeglasses too, just sitting reading, and if they’re reading something I respect? I mean that could be a means for an affair,” Bush Hager quipped, before adding: “I’m just kidding, I would never do that. I would never, Henry and I are very happy. And he reads.”

Kotb, for her part, questioned Bush Hager’s defensiveness.

“Because I shouldn’t have said that!” Bush Hager replied. “I went too far.”

Bush Hager and her husband met in 2004 while he was working on a re-election campaign for her father, former President George W. Bush. The pair tied the knot in May 2008, but not before she gave him a “manipulative” proposal “ultimatum” that initially failed.

Jenna Bush Hager Clarifies Joke About Affair With Hot Guys Reading

Jenna Bush Hager and husband Henry Hager Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

“When we were dating, I was leaving Washington D.C. and I kind of — in a dramatic fashion you may or may not recognize — said, ‘If you don’t want me to leave for Latin America, we need to get engaged,’” she said in February on Today With Hoda & Jenna. “It was a manipulative ultimatum. Real manipulative. And [I said] ‘You know, there are very handsome men over there, but we could get engaged?’”

The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Mila, in April 2013. They went on to add daughter Poppy Louise to their family in August 2015, and son Hal in August 2019.

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As for whether the couple intends on expanding their brood in the future, they seem to disagree.

“It’s sort of time for me to have another baby,” Bush Hager shared on Today With Hoda & Jenna in August. “I’d like to have another.”

However, she clarified, “Henry put his foot down. He says we have three healthy babies.”

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