The man who claimed to have piloted the helicopter Brian Williams was on in Iraq in 2003 is now recanting his version of the incident.
During an interview with David Letterman last year, Williams claimed to have been on a helicopter in Iraq that was shot down on March 23, 2003 — a story he reiterated last week on NBC Nightly News before retracting on Wednesday after veterans involved in the incident accused him of lying. Rich Krell, a retired soldier, backed up portions of the anchor's story in an interview with CNN on Thursday, in which he claimed to have been the pilot of Williams' helicopter during the attack.
However, on Friday morning, Krell told CNNMoney that "the information I gave you [on Thursday] was true based on my memories, but at this point I am questioning my memories."
Krell had told CNNMoney the day prior that while it was another helicopter in their convoy that was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, Williams' helicopter did come under "small arms fire."
But on Thursday night, two soldiers, Christopher Simeone and Allan Kelly, accused Krell of lying when they told The New York Times that they had been piloting Williams' helicopter. Their account, which is supported by a third soldier, Joseph Kelly, alleges that Krell was piloting another helicopter in their convoy and they do "not recall their convoy of helicopters coming under fire."
After Simoene, Kelly and Miller shared their story with the Times and The Omaha World-Herald, Krell followed Williams' suit and recanted his version of events.
"For the past 12 years I have been trying to forget everything that happened in Iraq and Afghanistan; now that I let it back, the nightmares come back with it, so I want to forget again," he explained. "The men in that article deserve respect. Please understand."