Dan Rather Defends Brian Williams: He’s ‘An Honest, Decent Man’

February 5, 2015 4:31 p.m.

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather rushed to Brian Williams’ defense after the NBC News anchor apologized for falsely claiming that he was on board a helicopter that took rocket propelled grenade fire during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

“I don’t know the particulars about that day in Iraq,” Rather told Politico on Thursday. “I do know Brian. He’s a longtime friend and we have been in a number of war zones and on the same battlefields, competing but together. Brian is an honest, decent man, an excellent reporter and anchor–and a brave one. I can attest that — like his predecessor Tom Brokaw — he is a superb pro, and a gutsy one.”

Although Williams’ apology appears to be enough for Rather, who resigned in 2004 during an investigation into a story he wrote on President George W. Bush’s National Guard service, other members of the media have demanded additional answers from Williams and NBC News.

Williams has told multiple versions of the story on the 2003 attack, and numerous individuals have contested details he shared about the attack. It appears that the helicopter on which Williams rode was not hit with RPG fire, but the pilot of the helicopter claims that the aircraft was hit with small arms fire.

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