Bill O'Reilly Defends Brian Williams: "He Made a Mistake" (Video)
But the Fox News host cautioned that if Williams is found to have "exaggerated [another] story that he reported, he's going to lose his job."
Bill O'Reilly understands Brian Williams' Iraq helicopter gaffe, explaining on Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live how he thinks the embattled NBC Nightly News anchor ended up exaggerating his experience.
The Fox News host said that he too went to Iraq, shortly after Williams' trip. ("Nobody shot at us or anything like that," he noted.) But O'Reilly said flying over Baghdad in a helicopter is "unbelievably exhilarating."
"Your adrenaline is running…the doors are open…it's intense," he recalled.
He added that he thought Williams embellished the story, stating that his helicopter came under fire, when he was on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2013 to have something interesting to say.
"I could see that when you come on a show like Kimmel or any of the late-night shows, you don't want to be a dweeb," O'Reilly said. "What happens is that a journalist will say OK, I was there, and this story, to make it more dramatic and interesting, will emerge."
But O'Reilly, who said Williams "made a mistake," cautioned that another one would be a problem.
"If another one comes out that he exaggerated a story that he reported, he's going to lose his job," the Fox News host said. "If it's just one he'll get by, but if it's a pattern of this, it's going to be hard for him to come back and be the main anchor on NBC."
He also spoke out against anyone who's celebrating Williams' downfall.
"I feel that anybody who's enjoying the destruction of this man, you gotta look at yourself here," O'Reilly said. "A lot of people seem to be real happy that his career's going down the drain. That disturbs me."