Stars and Stripes reporter Travis J. Tritten has released the full audio of an interview he did with Brian Williams last Wednesday, before Williams’s on air apology for misremembering a story in the early days of Iraq war coverage which has now led to an internal NBC News probe and Williams benching himself from “Nightly News.” Tritten used a quote from Williams in his original story, but this afternoon published the entire audio interview.
When asked about falsely reporting details within days of the incident, Williams told Tritten:
“No, I think I correctly reported as I did in my blog in ’08 that I was on the aircraft behind the one that was hit. It was not … Because I knew we had all come under fire, I guess I had assumed that all of the airframes took some damage because we all went down. Also, remember, adding to the fear of the moment was the fact that we unhooked, our load master let loose a huge, our cargo, so you go through this over-torque where you rise in the air before you settle, despite what was some dandy piloting by the crews of all three aircraft. It was like landing on the surface of the moon. And I’m going to have a far different recollection than the professionals.”
During the interview with Tritten last Wednesday, Williams wasn’t sure if was going to take time on “Nightly News” to correct the record: “I don’t know. I’ll talk to my boss. I am certainly willing,” Williams said.