Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps tread carefully around Matt Lauer asking point-blank asking if he smoked marijuana at a South Carolina party where he was photographed holding a bong.

"It was a bad mistake. I mean, we all know what, you know, what you and I are talking about. It's a stupid mistake. You know, bad judgment. And it's something that, you know, I have to, and I want to teach other people not to make that mistake," Phelps said during the Today show Friday.

Lauer was quick to roll tape of a similar apology Phelps made on Today in 2004 after the DUI incident.

"I'll be the first one to admit I've made a lot of mistakes in my life in the pool and out of the pool," Phelps said. "But I have never made the same mistake again. I never made the same mistake twice."

They are, after all, two totally different things.

Watch the video of Phelps' first interview since Ganja Gate: