Kathie Lee Gifford thinks Matt Lauer should get a second chance: 'I believe in redemption'

Kathie Lee Gifford is still friends with Matt Lauer over a year after he was fired from the "Today" show amid allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

The television veteran told People this week that she's still in contact with him and believes that he should be given another chance after paying for his "mistakes."

"I was texting him last week and praying for him this morning. That's what friendship means to me," she told the outlet. "I've been through very, very hard times in my life, and I saw my friends drop away because they weren't my friends. Times like that test the mettle of friendships. The Matt I love is the Matt I still do."

SEE ALSO: Kathie Lee Gifford opens up about her 'crippling loneliness' 

"He made mistakes and he paid dearly for them," Gifford went on. "I believe in redemption because Jesus did. And it's not for me to judge any choices he made. That's between him, his wife and his God. My job is to be his friend and be there for him. He's found out who his real friends are."

25 PHOTOS
Matt Lauer and Annette Roque together through the years
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Matt Lauer and Annette Roque together through the years
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 12: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend Apollo in the Hamptons 2017: hosted by Ronald O. Perelman at The Creeks on August 12, 2017 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Apollo)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend the 2013 Animal League America Celebrity gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on November 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque Lauer attend the 38th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show - Grand Prix Sunday on September 1, 2013 in Bridgehampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: 'Today' host Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend 2013 Tribeca Ball at New York Academy of Art on April 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 03: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend the 2008 UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani 42nd Street on December 3, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - MAY 15: TV personality Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque visit the 'Ye Waverly Inn' resturant on May 15, 2008 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
Actress Mary Tyler Moore, television journalist Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend the Fifth Annual ASPCA Bergh Ball on April 25, 2002 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 23: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend ROGER VIVIER Cocktail Party Benefiting CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY at Roger Vivier on April 23, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MAY 8: Annette Roque and Matt Lauer attend TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD at Jazz @ Lincoln Center on May 8, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by JIMI CELESTE/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - MAY 8: Matt Lauer and Annette Roque Lauer attend TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2007 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 8, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by PATRICK MCMULLAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Matt Lauer and Annette Roque Lauer attend Baccarat Presents the 2nd Annual UNICEF SNOWFLAKE BALL at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on November 28, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Matt Lauer, Annette Roque Lauer during Bergdorf Goodman celebrates Madonna's new book at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by M. Von Holden/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - APRIL 19: NBC 'Today' show host Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque arrive for Time Magazine Celebrates New 'Time 100' list of Most Influential People In The World at the Time Warner Center on April 19, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
Annette Roque Lauer and Matt Lauer during Escada and InStyle Host Benefit for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF at ESCADA Fifth Avenue in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Matt Lauer, Annette Roque Lauer during Bette Midler Receives the Medal of Distinction by Lenox Hill Hospital at 2002 Autumn Ball at Waldorf Astoria in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Matt Lauer and Annette Roque during 5th Annual ASPCA Bergh Ball at Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 25: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend ASPCA Bergh Ball Honoring Roger A. Caras on April 25, 2001 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
370677 06: Today Show Host Matt Lauer with his wife Annette Roque Lauer attend The Fresh Air Fund Benefit, June 8, 2000 in New York City. The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, not for profit agency which has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million disadvantaged New York City children since 1877. The annual event is held at Tavern On The Green in New York City. (Photo By George De Sota/Liaison)
Television journalist Matt Lauer and wife, model Annette Roque, at book party for Al Roker. (Photo by Marion Curtis/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - OCTOBER 21: Matt Lauer and wife Annette Roque attend Third Annual GQ Men of the Year Awards on October 21, 1998 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Nyc 10/21/98 Gq Magazine Honors 'Men Of The Year' At Radio City Music Hall. Matt Lauer & New Bride Annette Roque (Photo By Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 03: NBC 'Today' show host Matt Lauer and model Annette Roque leave Bridgehampton Presbyterian Chuch on Long Island after their wedding. (Photo by John Roca/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NANTUCKET - JUNE 19: Nantucket Film Festival. Matt Lauer and then-fianc� Annette Roque at Bob and Suzanne Wright?s party at the Nantucket Film Festival, Nantucket, MA June 19, 1998 (Photo by Lindsay Brice/Getty Images)
Matt Lauer & Annette Roque during 1997 Lexus Challenge After Party at La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Annette Roque and Matt Lauer during 'Anchors Aweigh' Benefit for Muscular Dystrophy Association at Aboard Spirit of New York in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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Since being let go from NBC News in November 2017, Lauer has been laying low in the Hamptons with his family as he continues to negotiate the final stages of his reported $20 million divorce from his wife of two decades, Annette Roque.

Lauer's sudden exit from "Today" came as Gifford was preparing to leave the NBC morning show that following spring. But, after producers asked her to stay amid the troubling time, Gifford opted to remain in her position co-hosting the 10 a.m. hour for an extra year.

"It was a really calculated decision two years ago when I first gave my notice to my bosses here at NBC and said, ‘you guys I have to go. It’s time," she recalled. "The executive producer came to me and said, ‘Kathie, because of what had happened with our friend Matt, would you mind staying? Reconsider, stay.' And so I said, ‘you know what? Yes, of course I will. I want to help you guys.'"

SEE ALSO: Kathie Lee Gifford gets emotional about leaving the 'Today' show

"We’d had a lot of turmoil here," Gifford added. "I wanted the transition to be smooth and I wanted to show the business how you can do it. I didn’t leave anybody in the lurch."

Gifford will leave "Today" in April, with Jenna Bush Hager officially replacing her alongside Hoda Kotb in the show's fourth hour. She says she'll focus on writing and producing Christian films, which has been a dream of hers for quite some time.

29 PHOTOS
Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford together
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Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford together
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Friday, November 16, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Howie Mandel on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Friday, November 23, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Donna Farizan on Friday, November 16, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Thursday, October 12, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Billie Jean King on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Dylan Dreyer, Jenna Bush Hager, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Al Roker on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Monday, September 5, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Kathie Lee Gifford, Lionel Richie and Hoda Kotb on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Thursday, Aug.10, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: Hoda Kotb (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford (R) are seen on July 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by VMAL/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: (L-R) TV personalities Sheinelle Jones, Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 'DUNKIRK' New York premiere at AMC Lincoln Square IMAX on July 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Monday, June 23, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Hoda Kotb (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 2017 CMT Music Awards at the Music City Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 2017 CMT Music Awards at the Music City Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images For CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: (L-R) Hoda Kotb,Jason Derulo, Luke Bryan and Kathie Lee Gifford backstage during the 2017 CMT Music Awards at the Music City Center on June 7, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Monday, June 5, 2017 -- (Photo by: Zach Pagano/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the 2017 Matrix Awards at Sheraton New York Times Square on April 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb And Kathie Lee Gifford on the Today Show. Wednesday, April 19, 2017 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 06: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford appear to celebrate the BELLA New York Holiday Issue Cover Party and Holiday Shopping Event on December 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NBCUNIVERSAL UPFRONT -- '2016 NBCUniversal Upfront in New York City on Monday, May 16, 2016' -- Pictured: (l-r) Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, 'The Today Show' on NBC -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: (L) Kathie Lee Gifford dressed as her former co-host Regis Philbin, and Hoda Kotb, dressed as Kathie Lee Gifford from the morning talk show, 'Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee,' during NBC's 'Today' Halloween at Rockefeller Plaza on October 31, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: TV personalities Hoda Kotb (L) and Kathie Lee Gifford attend the Variety's Power Of Women: New York 2016 at Cipriani Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Kathie Lee Gifford, Jennifer Lopez, and Hoda Kotb appear on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford on Friday, November 23, 2018 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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