Last Wednesday, Williams provided an apology on air. Since that time, Deborah Turness, president with NBC News, has not made any type of public comment. In a memo to employees on Friday, Turness stated that a team had been formed to collect the facts to make it easier to understand exactly what happened and why.
The problem started when Williams claimed the helicopter he was riding in while reporting on the Iraq War in 2003 had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, which proved to be untrue. Over the last 12 years, his version of the event changed significantly and a number of veterans from that war have come forward disputing the attack ever happened.
Two days after social media criticism began and questions were asked, NBC decided an investigation was warranted. While Williams has been facing some toughs times over the situation, Rich Krell, an Iraq War veteran has stepped forward to say that the helicopter the reporter was in had come under small arms fire but not a rocket-propelled grenade.
However, Krell’s own account was disputed by other people onboard the helicopter at which time Krell admitted he could no longer trust his own memory about that day.
The other issue that Williams is facing is his account of Hurricane Katrina, which he also covered. Last Thursday, questions were raised by the New Orleans Advocate specific to Williams’ claims that he had seen several dead bodies floating in the French Quarter but with this particular area of New Orleans being on high ground, it had very little flood damage compared to other parts of the city.
Williams also claimed that he had contracted dysentery following his coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The Nightly News team was once again addressed by Williams who apologized and expressed sorrow for the impact his reporting had on everyone and the NBC network.
Richard Esposito will head up the internal investigation and although he was approached for comment, he refused to make any formal statement. Turness is also trying to determine the next steps and said that once a course of action is determined it will be shared.