As Brian Williams announced this weekend that he would temporarily take himself off the air over his bogus story about an experience in Iraq in 2003, a video of the NBC News anchor recalling the tale in 2007 surfaced.
A Fairfield University student interviewed Williams in November 2007 before he gave a speech at the school. She asked him what experience had the most impact on him.
“I’ve been very lucky to have survived a few things that I’ve been involved in. At a reception a few minutes ago, I was remembering something I tend to forget: the war with Hezbollah in Israel a few years back, where there were Katyushka rockets passing just underneath the helicopter I was riding in. A few years before that, you go back to Iraq, and I looked down the tube of an RPG that had been fired at us and it hit the chopper in front of ours,” Williams responded. “And I’m so fortunate to be sitting here.”
Williams admitted last week that he lied about an experience on board a helicopter during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He recently told the story on air, when he claimed that the helicopter he was on was hit by a rocket propelled grenade.
His latest version of the story prompted crew members who flew on the helicopters that encountered the attack to speak up and counter Williams’ version oft he story. The crew members said that Williams wasn’t near the attack and that the helicopter on which he rode did not take any fire.
A helicopter pilot last week defended Williams, claiming that while the chopper on which the newsman flew wasn’t hit by an RPG, it did take small arms fire. However, that pilot is now questioning his memory.
Williams has told numerous versions of the story. In a 2007 blog post, he said that the helicopter in front of him was hit by an RPG.
And during a 2013 interview, he said that “two of our four helicopters were hit by ground fire, including the one I was in — RPG and AK-47.”
Watch the November 2007 interview via Fairfield University Student Television. Williams mentions Iraq at the 2 minute mark: