Brian Williams is a liar, end of story. He won’t admit, even now, that he lied and for that he should be fired.
In his first interview since being suspended from NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams admitted to and apologized for past mistakes, telling TODAY’s Matt Lauer, “I said things that weren’t true.”
“It has been torture,” Williams said, of the months since he was suspended. “Looking back, it has been absolutely necessary. I have discovered a lot of things. I have been listening to and watching what amounts to the black box recordings from my career. I’ve gone back through everything — basically 20 years of public utterances.”
An extensive review by NBCUniversal into Williams’ reporting in the field and commentary from a period of more than 10 years found that he made a number of inaccurate statements about his role and experiences in covering events in the field. Williams, who has been suspended since February, opened up about what he says has been a difficult period.
“I was reading these newspaper stories, not liking the person I was reading about, wanting — I would have given anything to get to the end of the story and have it be about someone else, but it was about me. These statements I made, I own this; I own up to this and I have to go through and see and try to figure out how it happened.”
On Thursday, NBC announced that Williams would not return as the anchor of Nightly News, namingLester Holt as the show’s permanent anchor. Williams will join MSNBC, where he was an anchor from 1996-2004, as an anchor of breaking news and special reports, beginning in mid-August.
“Brian now has the chance to earn back everyone’s trust,” Andrew Lack, Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, said in a statement Thursday. “His excellent work over twenty-two years at NBC News has earned him that opportunity.”
“I am a grateful person,” Williams said. “I am fully aware of the second chance I have been given. I don’t intend to squander it.”
In his sit-down with Lauer, Williams reflected on what made him tell inaccurate stories from the course of his 22-year career.
“It had to have been ego that made me think I had to be sharper, funnier, quicker than anybody else,” he said. “I told the story correctly for years, before I told it incorrectly. I was not trying to mislead people, (and) that to me is a huge difference. It came from a bad place. It came from a sloppy choice of words. I told stories that were not true. Over the years, looking back, it is very clear I never intended to. It got mixed up, it got turned around, in my mind.
Read more: Today