Matt Lauer On Miley Cyrus: 'She Knows Exactly What She's Doing,' 'She's Smart'

Miley Cyrus might have put Matt Lauer through the ringer during her recent “Today” show appearance, but Matt is singing the young star’s praises.

The “Today” show co-host stopped by Access Hollywood Live on Wednesday, where he defended Miley.

“I’m a big fan of hers,” he told Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. “Everybody criticizes her and gives her a lot of grief, [but] I think she knows exactly what she’s doing. I think she’s smart. I’ll tell you another thing, she’s a great performer… she is a real talent… she gets up on that stage and she works it.”

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And when Miley drops an outlandish remark – like when she insinuated that sex is over when you hit 40 – Matt said Miley is in on the joke.

“When she says things like that, I know she’s not serious. I mean she came up to me afterward and laughed,” he told Billy and Kit.

Matt might call himself a Miley fan, but he was not a fan of her lighting a joint during the MTV EMAs.

WATCH: Matt Lauer On Miley Cyrus’ Antics: ‘She Knows Exactly What She’s Doing’

“That I don’t approve of. I think that’s just for effect and that’s going too far,” he said of her most recent headline-making appearance.

The 55-year-old cautioned the 20-year-old about her journey from a child star to an adult star.

“It’s a difficult transition,” he told Billy and Kit. “It’s a very perilous trip and I think she’s in the middle of that.”

-- Jesse Spero

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