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Brian Williams Leaving NBC News Anchor Desk “For The Next Several Days”

Deadline logo Deadline 2/7/2015 Dominic Patten

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," speaks at the Women's Conference in Long Beach, Calif. NBC News erroneously reported the capture of two suspects and killing of another in the attack on a French newspaper office and has been forced to issue a correction. The false report came on NBC's flagship "Nightly News" Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, and was dialed back over the next few hours. Williams, was to explain the error to viewers on Thursday's broadcast. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File) © The Associated Press Brian Williams Days into the controversy over whether or not he was in a helicopter that took enemy fire in Iraq in 2003, as he has claimed over the years, the NBC Nightly News anchor today told staff in a memo that he is temporarily stepping away from the anchor desk. This comes one day after NBC News boss Deborah Turness announced that the division is conducting an internal investigation into Williams’ remarks over the issue. The controversy erupted last weekend after a January 30 NBC News segment detailed the 2003 incident on air. Members of the U.S. military began posting online disputing Williams’ recollection of events. On February 4, Williams apologized to viewers and members of the military on air for the version of events told in the January 30 segment.

Read the full memo below:

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.

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

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