A spokesman for the United States Special Operations Command on Thursday cast doubt on Brian Williams’ stories about flying into Iraq with SEAL Team 6, the team that later raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011.
The “NBC Nightly News” anchor admitted last week that a separate story about flying on a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq in 2003 was bogus. That prompted the Huffington Post on Thursday to publish an article that called into question Williams’ other war stories.
During numerous appearances in recent years on CBS’ “The Late Show With David Letterman,” Williams claimed that he had embedded with SEAL Team 6 in 2003 in Iraq. A former SEAL sniper, Brandon Webb, told the Huffington Post the story sounded “preposterous.”
Later on Thursday, Special Operations spokesman Ken McGraw told the website that Williams would not have embedded with that team.
“We do not embed journalists with this or any other unit that conducts counter-terrorism missions,” McGraw said.
Huffington Post noted it was unclear whether Williams’ would have encountered the special forces unit without embedding with them.
The NBC anchor had also claimed that he befriended members on SEAL Team 6, and that someone had sent him “a piece of the fuselage of the blown-up Black Hawk” that crashed during the raid on bin Laden’s compound.
But McGraw said that the helicopter was destroyed after the Special Forces team left the compound in Pakistan. So if Williams received the piece, it would have been after the chopper returned to the U.S.
“We don’t have any idea what someone could have sent Mr. Williams and what kind of claim that person may have made,” he said. “But, while the details of the raid remain classified, I can say the aircraft was not blown up until after US forces had left the compound.”