ET spoke with Kotb and Guthrie about the big promotion on Tuesday morning in New York City, where Kotb shared Lauer's reaction.
"I did hear from him, yeah, he texted me and he said congratulations and some really nice words, and it meant the world when I saw the text pop up," Kotb reveals. "My heart just went like, you know, it meant the world to see that."
Kotb, 53, says she is still in touch with Lauer, after he was abruptly fired from his longtime co-anchor position in November for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
"You know, Matt is our good friend and continues to be, and I think for both of us, we've just been trying to navigate this time and honor our love and friendship with Matt, but also understand and try to learn more about these circumstances," Kotb shares. "So, it's complicated when you are surprised by revelations, but you still care deeply for somebody who's a friend. I think for all of us, we've just been trying to navigate through that, with straightforwardness and honesty and integrity."
Meanwhile, Guthrie gushes about working with Kotb during such turbulent times for the NBC morning show.
"This has been a really hard time for this show that we love and the people who put the show together -- we care so much -- and having Hoda right with me every second of the way has meant everything," she notes. "And we kind of held onto each other, and then discovered along the way that there's a real partnership here, and so how wonderful that now it's permanent, we get to just do it every day."
As for if Lauer would ever consider a sit-down with the Today show about his sexual misconduct scandal, Guthrie isn't counting on it.
"I don't know if he would want to do that but, I mean, I don't know where he would," she muses. "I think his heart and his focus is on his family."
Lauer has yet to give an interview after his shocking firing, though he broke his silence in November with an apology.
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry," he said in a statement. "As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed," he continued. "I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job."
Last month, former Today show production assistant Addie Collins Zinone spoke to Megyn Kelly about her alleged one-month consensual affair with Lauer in 2000, when she was 24 years old and Lauer was around 42. Watch below: