Brian Williams owns up to allegations: 'I said things that weren't true'

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Brian Williams On 'Nightly News' Suspension: 'It Has Been Torture'

Brian Williams gave his first sit-down interview since being suspended from NBC Nightly News, and addressed claims that he misrepresented events that occurred while he was out in the field reporting for 10 years.

"I said things that weren't true," he admitted to Today show co-anchor Matt Lauer.

Williams first came under fire when it was discovered that he made untrue statements about being bombed while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003. After a review by NBC Universal, it was determined that over the a 10-year span he made several other inaccurate statements to his experiences in the field.

18 PHOTOS
Brian Williams through the years
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Brian Williams owns up to allegations: 'I said things that weren't true'
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 06: (Exclusive Coverage) Dorothea Bon Jovi, Brian Williams, Jane Williams and Jon Bon Jovi attend the after party for 'Hamilton' Broadway opening night at Pier 60 on August 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Brian Williams attends the Boston Bruins vs New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
Journalist Brian Williams hosts onstage at The Lincoln Awards: A Concert For Veterans & The Military Family presented by The Friars Foundation at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on January 7, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for The Friars Club)
NBC NEWS -- Pictured: (l-r) General Wayne A. Downing and Anchor and Managing Editor, Brian Williams of 'NBC Nightly News' during a report from Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq on March 8, 2007 (Photo by Jeff Riggins/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 07: Journalist Brian Williams hosts onstage at The Lincoln Awards: A Concert For Veterans & The Military Family presented by The Friars Foundation at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on January 7, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Friars Club)
NBC NEWS -- Pictured: (l-r) Lieutenant General Raymond T. Odierno, Anchor and Managing Editor, Brian Williams of 'NBC Nightly News' and General Wayne A. Downing in Baghdad, Iraq on March 8, 2007 (Photo by Jeff Riggins/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC NEWS -- Pictured: (third from left) Anchor and Managing Editor, Brian Williams of 'NBC Nightly News' with American military reports from Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq on March 8, 2007 (Photo by Jeff Riggins/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC NEWS -- Pictured: (c) Anchor and Managing Editor, Brian Williams of 'NBC Nightly News' with American military reports from Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq on March 8, 2007 (Photo by Jeff Riggins/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC NEWS -- Pictured: (c) Anchor and Managing Editor, Brian Williams of 'NBC Nightly News' with American military reports from Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq on March 8, 2007 (Photo by Jeff Riggins/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0196 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Brian Williams during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on January 16, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 065 -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC News' Brian Williams during an interview with host Seth Meyers on July 7, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Ron Meyer (L), president & COO of Universal Studios and Brian Williams, NBC network news anchorman, attend the world premiere of 'Neighbors,' April 28, 2014 at the Regency Village Theater in Los Angeles, California. Man at right in unidentified. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
NBC NEWS-EVENTS -- Education Nation: New York Summit, Day 3 -- Pictured: Brian Williams at NBC News' Education Nation Summit at the New York Public Library in New York on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC NEWS-EVENTS -- Education Nation: New York Summit, Day 3 -- Pictured: Brian Williams and Governor Mitt Romney at NBC News' Education Nation Summit at the New York Public Library in New York on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Brian Williams appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: NBC News anchor Brian Williams and his wife, Jane Stoddard Williams attend the Tribeca Talks Directors Series with Robert De Niro and Brian Williams during the 10th annual Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 23, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
NBC NIGHTLY NEWS WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS -- Pictured: Brian Williams -- As protesters converged on the heart of Cairo in droves on Tuesday, NBC News' Brian Williams was there to speak with those who responded to the call for Egyptians to unite in the largest protest yet in a week of unceasing demands for President Hosni Mubarak to leave (Photo by Subrata De/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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NEWS: Internal Investigation Into Brian Williams Finds At Least 11 More Reporting 'Embellishments'

"It has been torture," he said of being 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."

Williams recalled being in the center of a media circus, and insisted that he's now taking responsibility for his actions.

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"I was reading these newspaper stories, not liking the person I was reading about, wanting -- I would have given anything to get to the end of the story and have it be about someone else, but it was about me," he said. "These statements I made, I own this; I own up to this and I have to go through and see and try to figure out how it happened."

NBC announced Thursday that Lester Holt will be replacing Williams permanently as anchor of the Nightly News, while Williams will join MSNBC, where he was an anchor from 1196-2004. He is to begin that role in mid-August.

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"I'm sorry,'' Williams said in a statement. "I said things that weren't true. I let down my NBC colleagues and our viewers, and I'm determined to earn back their trust. I will greatly miss working with the team on Nightly News, but I know the broadcast will be in excellent hands with Lester Holt as anchor."

See how people reacted to Williams' interview below:

12 PHOTOS
Brian Williams interview reactions
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Brian Williams owns up to allegations: 'I said things that weren't true'
Brian Williams calling his suspension "torture" does not suggest that lessons about the danger of hyperbole have been learned.
Have a problem w/ #BrianWilliams & NBC calling his lies "inaccurate statements" That's not owning up, that's covering up. Hurts a job I love
My pitch to Brian Williams for his 1st guest on MSNBC - Rachel Dolezal
Does anyone think that clip with Matt Lauer helped Brian Williams' case?
Did anyone else hear Brian Williams tell Matt Lauer "I am not a crook?" Also what happened to pushing interview because of Charleston?
#BrianWilliams uncomfortable, him and me
Brian Williams will fit in with rest of the liars at MSNBC
"I've been on paid leave at my multi million dollar uptown Manhattan condo. It's been hell." - Brian Williams.
BREAKING NEWS: You hurt us, Brian Williams. We trust our cable news. You broke that trust. Shame. And now back to our black riot coverage.
Brian Williams tells Matt Lauer he is now the spokesman for the second chances club.
Brian Williams interview just now on Today. What a joke.
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