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

Matt Lauer / Miley Cyrus -- Access Hollywood

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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