Taking its toll. Today show co-host Hoda Kotb opened up to Fox News on Tuesday, Feb. 10 about the ongoing Brian Williams debacle, hours before the NBC Nightly News anchor's six month suspension was announced.
"I love Brian," Kotb said of her NBC colleague at the Woman's Day Red Dress Awards in NYC. "I’ve known him for many years and I know that he is devastated after what happened."
Williams, 55, admitted earlier this month that he had made several false claims while covering the Iraq War in 2003. The veteran journalist, who's considered by many as the face of NBC News, said his account of his helicopter being hit by a grenade was "bungled," and that he was actually in another aircraft when the incident took place.
"I think the whole news organization feels horrible about what happened," Kotb told the outlet on Tuesday. "We’re sort of going to let NBC deal with it. It is a news organization and it’s important to all of us and we’re going to see what they do next."
NBC News president Deborah Turness released an internal memo later that evening, telling employees that Williams was suspended without pay for six months, effective immediately. In the interim, Lester Holt will anchor NBC Nightly News.
"This has been a painful period for all concerned and we appreciate your patience while we gathered the available facts," NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said in Turness' memo to the staff. "By his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate."
Regardless, the network heads said Williams deserves a second chance. "Brian's life's work is delivering the news," Burke told the NBC News staff. "We are rooting for him."
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