The Corner

Sole Army Pilot Defending Brian Williams Recants His Story

The sole Army pilot defending Brian Williams’s helicopter shootdown story has withdrawn his defense, saying he is now “questioning” his memory.

After veterans present at Williams’s assignment during the 2003 Iraq invasion called him out for peddling a false narrative, the NBC anchor claimed he simply misremembered the event.

Rich Krell, a Chinook helicopter pilot during the invasion, was the only veteran partially supporting Williams’s story. Speaking to CNN’s Brian Stelter on Thursday, Krell claimed the NBC anchor was aboard his aircraft and that they did take small arms fire — though it was not rocket fire and they were not forced to crash-land, as Williams claimed.

But after other pilots and air crews came forward to say that Williams was on their helicopter — not Krell’s — the pilot contacted Stelter to recant his story.

“He is questioning his own memories,” Stelter said Friday. “Essentially he is backtracking. I think it’s really important to tell viewers that that has happened, that he is no longer standing by his story.”

“I wish I had an answer for you as to why that has changed,” Stelter continued, noting that on Thursday Krell was adamant that Williams had been on his aircraft.

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