Online publication Stars and Stripes has released audio from its Feb. 4 interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, one that launched a scandal causing Williams to take a temporary break from NBC and to cancel an upcoming Late Show with David Letterman appearance.
Williams had said on multiple occasions over a number of years that he was in an aircraft that took fire when he was covering the Iraq War in 2003, but he recently recanted the story after some pilots who claimed to be with Williams at the time of the purported attack said Williams’ tale wasn’t all true. As it turns out, his aircraft wasn’t the one that took fire after all, and Williams said so to Stars and Stripes.
“I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” he told Stars and Stripes. “I don’t know what screw-up in my mind caused me to conflate one aircraft with the other.” He said “it all became a fog” in the moment. “A professional will look at this differently, they go into a kind of hyper drive,” he said. “I did what a civilian, an untrained civilian, would do in that instance, and it was… it was being scared.”
Head over to Stars and Stripes for the full audio.