The Nightly News anchor says he will be off the air for the next "several days"

By Michele Corriston
Updated February 07, 2015 04:20 PM
Credit: Monica Schipper/Getty

Brian Williams is taking a break from his NBC Nightly News duties as the network investigates false claims he made about his time covering the War in Iraq.

“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,” he said in a note to NBC News staff Saturday.

“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,” he continued. “Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”

The scandal came to a head earlier this week, when he repeated his 2013 claim that he was in a helicopter brought down by enemy fire while embedded with soldiers in 2003.

Army vets actually on the aircraft called him out on Facebook, and Williams, 55, apologized on air, explaining he was actually flying behind the helicopter and blaming “the fog of memory” for the slip-up.