Brian Williams is stepping away from NBC Nightly News for a number of days.
The anchor sent a note to the show’s staff, announcing that Lester Holt is replacing him for an unspecified amount of time. The news comes as Williams is embroiled in a scandal surrounding his story about being a passenger in a helicopter that took fire in Iraq in 2003.
On Jan. 30, an NBC Nightly News clip was posted to Facebook in which Williams repeated a story he had told previously about having been in the helicopter that was hit and went down during the Iraq invasion. After the story was questioned, Williams apologized on Wednesday’s Nightly News, saying that his helicopter was following the one that was hit.
“I feel terrible about making this mistake, especially since I found my OWN WRITING about the incident from back in ’08, and I was indeed on the Chinook behind the bird that took the RPG in the tail housing just above the ramp,” Williams wrote on Facebook.
In a memo to staff on Friday, NBC News Deborah Turness wrote that a team of people was working to “make sense” of the incident.
Williams’ message about going on hiatus from the show can be seen, below.
“In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.
“As managing editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”