New Canaan's Brian Williams On Lies: 'I Own Up To This'

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Embattled former anchorman Brian Williams, a New Canaan resident, sat down with his NBC colleague Matt Lauer for an interview that aired Friday, his first since he was caught in a firestorm due to his lies. 

Brian Williams gave his first interview to his colleague, Matt Lauer of "Today."

Brian Williams gave his first interview to his colleague, Matt Lauer of "Today."

Photo Credit: NBC News screenshot

Williams, who has been suspended since February for lying about his role in a mission in Iraq in 2003, was demoted Thursday from his job as anchorman of "NBC Nightly News."

Williams apologized for "making inaccurate statements" and blamed his ego.  

"This came from clearly a bad place, a bad urge inside of me,” Williams said. “This was clearly ego driven, the desire to better my role in a story I was already in."

He elaborated in his interview with Lauer, the host of "Today."  

"Looking back, it had to have been ego that made me think I had to be sharper, funnier, quicker than anybody else, [to] put myself closer to the action, having been at the action in the beginning," he said. "I own this and I own up to this."

He said it has been "torture" for the past few months, looking at the inaccuracies of his public utterances over the past two decades. 

In mid-August, Williams will become an anchor of breaking news and special reports on MSNBC. Lester Holt has been named the permanent anchor of "NBC Nightly News." He has been in the anchor seat since Williams was suspended without pay.  

Watch the full interview here at the NBC News website. 

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