A report on the Huffington Post website Friday raised further doubts about another Brian Williams war claim, specifically that he had flown into Baghdad on April 9, 2003, with members of SEAL Team 6. A spokesman for the SEALs, while stopping short of rebutting the claim, said journalists are never embedded with a SEAL unit.
The report, which was picked up by other media outlets Friday, is yet another addition to the growing list of questions surrounding Williams' claims made over the last decade. On Tuesday, he was suspended as anchor of "NBC Nightly News" without pay for six months because he had falsely claimed to have been onboard a helicopter in the early days of the war that was brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade.
NBC News is continuing an ongoing internal investigation into Williams' reporting, but other media outlets have continued their own, often juxtaposing Williams' claims made on talk shows with accounts he made elsewhere -- including, on occasion, on "Nightly News."
According to The Huffington Post, Williams said on the May 3, 2011, edition of "Nightly News," "Now, people might be hearing about SEAL Team 6," members of which had just killed Osama bin Laden, "[and] I happen to have the great honor of flying into Baghdad with them at the start of the war."
U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw told Huffington Post: "We do not embed journalists with this or any other unit that conducts counterterrorism missions."
In addition, Williams claims to have received gifts from SEAL team members that he befriended, including a knife, which is against SEAL policy, and a piece of the helicopter that was blown up in the bin Laden compound.
"About six weeks after the bin Laden raid, I got a white envelope and in it was a thank-you note, unsigned," Williams said on "Late Show With David Letterman" in January 2013. "And in it was a piece of the fuselage of the blown-up Black Hawk in that courtyard. Sent to me by one of my friends."
McGraw told Huffington Post, "while the details of the raid remain classified, I can say the aircraft was not blown up until after U.S. forces had left the compound."
NBC News has declined to comment on these various reports -- and did not respond to an email request for comment Friday.
Meanwhile, CNN Friday also raised questions about another claim Williams -- at the time a reporter for CBS/2 -- has made, that he was at the Brandenburg Gate when the Berlin Wall came down, on Nov. 9, 1989.