NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams couldn't bring himself to say "I lied" and even sought to blame a nonexistent brain tumor for his inflated story of his exploits on a helicopter during the Iraq war, according to a lengthy new article from Vanity Fair .
Williams, who was suspended on Feb. 10 for six months without pay, came under fire after making a statement days earlier on the news clarifying that he "incorrectly remembered details in a 2003 reporting mission to Iraq."
In a piece that aired on "Nightly News," Williams, 55, said that he was in a military helicopter that took on enemy fire. But days later Williams told viewers he had made a mistake in recalling the incident, saying that he and his team were actually in an aircraft that was following the helicopter that was hit.
In his February apology, Williams said he "made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago," adding, "I would not have chosen to make this mistake. I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another."
According to Vanity Fair, as the firestorm surrounding Williams grew, he would not take responsibility for the mistake and looked for something to blame.
"He couldn't say the words 'I lied,'" the Vanity Fair report says . "We could not force his mouth to form the words 'I lied.' He couldn't explain what had happened."
"[He said,] 'Did something happen to [my] head? Maybe I had a brain tumor, or something in my head?'" the source added of Williams.
Lester Holt is sitting in as anchor on "NBC Nightly News" while the network investigates Williams over the Iraq war story and other issues. Williams' final fate remains up in the air as his suspension continues, according to the Vanity Fair article.
Read the full story here at the Vanity Fair website.
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