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Brian Williams Says His Ego is to Blame for Making Up Stories

Why he doesn't consider what he did lying

Sadie Gennis

In his first interview since being suspended from NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams apologized for misleading the public and told Today's Matt Lauer that he won't make the same mistakes going forward.

"It has been torture," Williams said of the five months since he was suspended. "Looking back, it has been absolutely necessary. I have discovered a lot of things. I have been listening to and watching what amounts to the black-box recordings from my career. I've gone back through everything -- basically 20 years of public utterances.

Lester Holt named NBC Nightly News anchor

Williams insisted that he doesn't consider what he did "lying," instead placing the blame entirely on his own id. "This was clearly ego-driven, the desire to better my role in a story I was already in," Williams said. "That's what I've been tearing apart and unpacking and analyzing."

The longtime anchor voluntarily stepped down from his post in February after claims he had made on-air about being in a helicopter that was shot down in Iraq were proven false. After an internal investigation, NBC suspended Williams for six months without pay and named Lester Holt the permanent anchor of NBC Nightly News. Williams will now move to MSNBC to cover breaking news and special reports.