Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has defended his exclusive interview with NBC’s Billy Bush in which he described being robbed at gunpoint in Rio.
“We wouldn’t make this story up,” Lochte told Today co-host Matt Lauer in a phone interview overnight.
Locate’s story, that he and three other Team USA swimmers were robbed after a night out in Rio, has been challenged in Brazil after investigators found no evidence of the incident—and surveillance video appeared to show the swimmers returning to the Olympic Village carrying valuables shortly after the supposed armed robbery.
Two of the swimmers involved were taken off a flight bound for the U.S. by Brazilian officials Wednesday, while Lochte had already returned home. He called his fellow swimmers and himself “victims.”
Lochte, however, did change certain parts of the story he told Bush. Instead of saying a gun had been put to his head, Lochte told Lauer “the guy pointed the gun in my direction and cocked it.”
“He was very tired, he was shocked that this had happened,” Lauer said on Today from Rio Thursday morning. “He said ‘we’re victims, and we’re lucky and happy to be safe.'”