Entertainment TV Jenna Bush Hager Is 'Proud' of 'Mentor' Hoda Kotb amid Her Split from Fiancé Joel Schiffman Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman were together for eight years before the television personality announced their split at the end of January By Abigail Adams Abigail Adams Instagram Twitter Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 3, 2022 09:51 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Jenna Bush Hager is praising her Today cohost Hoda Kotb's "grace" and "compassion" following her split from fiancé Joel Schiffman. In a Wednesday interview with Entertainment Tonight, Hager, 40, lauded Kotb, 57, for her perseverance since Jan. 31, when the veteran television host announced on-air that she and Schiffman, 63, had gone their separate ways. "I am proud of Hoda every single day," Hager told ET. "She's filled with compassion and grace and she does everything that way. I watch her come into her office every morning smiling at every single person." This does not surprise Hager, however. "She has treated me with such love and been a mentor and now a really dear friend. So it is no surprise [how she handled the breakup]," she told ET. "She does everything in life with grace and compassion," Hager added. Joel Schiffman and Hoda Kotb in 2018. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager Tease Ina Garten After New Show Snub: 'We're So Jealous' Later in the interview, Hager doubled down on praising Kotb and the rest of the Today cast for creating a family-like environment on-set. "I think we all are just so happy to have each other," Hager explained to ET. "People say the Today show is a family and it seems like a cliché... but it's true. Hoda is like a sister to me, a lovely, wonderful presence in my life... That is the truth." Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager. Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty "We have such a supportive force and I encourage people if they don't have that in their workplace to build it because that is what we have here," Hager added. Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Kotb and Schiffman were together for eight years before the television personality announced their split at the end of January. The pair shares two daughters: Hope, 2, and Haley, 4. During her Jan. 31 announcement on Today, Kotb revealed that she and her ex-fiancé will continue to be "loving parents to our adorable, delightful children." Hoda Kotb Celebrates Valentine's Day with Daughters Hope and Haley Following Split from Fiancé "He's a great guy," Kotb said of Schiffman. "He's a very kind and loving person, and I feel privileged to have spent eight years with him. We are both good and we are both kind of going on our way and our path. We'll be good parents to those two lovely kids." Kotb also said that her breakup with Schiffman was not precipitated by any major event. "It's not like something happened" she explained on Today in January. "They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, or a season or for a lifetime. And I feel like ours was meant to be there for a season."