NBC News Anchor Brian Williams Recants Iraq Plane Claim

In this Oct. 26, 2010, file photo, Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," speaks at a conference in Long Beach, Calif. (Photo: Matt Sayles, AP)
In this Oct. 26, 2010, file photo, Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” speaks at a conference in Long Beach, Calif.
(Photo: Matt Sayles, AP)

NBC News anchor Brian Williams is recanting his claims that he was on board a helicopter forced down in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

The claim has been widely cited and Williams repeated it on the air on Friday, but he subsequently said in a Facebook post and also told Stars and Stripes in an interview that he did not remember the events correctly and he misspoke.

In a conversation on Facebook, Williams said he was sorry for the error.

“I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident . . . and I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing just above the ramp,” Williams wrote. “Because I have no desire to fictionalize my experience … and no need to dramatize events as they actually happened, I think the constant viewing of the video showing us inspecting the impact area — and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize.”

The recent events unfolded after crew members from the Chinook helicopter that was hit by rockets and small arms fire told Stars and Stripes that Williams was not near that helicopter or two others flying in formation that were struck. According to the news organization, Williams arrived in the area about an hour after.

Williams told Stars and Stripes, “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”

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SOURCE: USA Today
Melanie Eversley

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