Scrutiny intensifies on Brian Williams
© Getty Images

News outlets are questioning several stories told by NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who was suspended this week for telling a story about the Iraq War that was not true.

Details of a story told by Williams about covering the fall of the Berlin Wall has varied over the years, CNN Money reported Thursday night.

The issue with the story revolves around timing. Williams has said before that he was in Berlin "the night" that the wall was demolished.

ADVERTISEMENT

The wall came down on Nov. 9, 1989. Williams's predecessor Tom Brokaw was notably the only American anchor to report live from the wall that night. CNN reported that Williams, who was working for one of New York's CBS affiliates, arrived a day later.

While Williams has acknowledged in the past that he arrived after Brokaw, CNN found other occasions where he has suggested that he arrived around the same time as Brokaw.

"I've been so fortunate," he said in 2008, in a speech unearthed by CNN. "I was at the Brandenburg Gate the night the wall came down."

"Here's a fact: 25 years ago tonight," he said on November 8, 2014. "Tom Brokaw and I were at the Berlin Wall."

The Berlin Wall story is one of the many of Williams's tales that has been subjected to critical attention from the media since it became clear that Williams had told a story about his time covering the Iraq War that wasn't true.

On Thursday morning, The Huffington Post posted a story questioning claims Williams has made about his relationship with the elite SEAL Team 6, which conducted the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.

Shortly after the raid, Williams started saying that he had flown into Baghdad with the team at the start of the war in Iraq. The Huffington Post found no evidence that he mentioned having been embedded with the unit before the Bin Laden raid.

He did report from Baghdad airport in April 2003, but later said that his ride with the SEAL team took place earlier in the war than April.

Williams also said in the years since the raid that he received two gifts from members of SEAL Team 6 with whom he'd stayed in touch: a knife and a piece of a Black Hawk helicopter that was destroyed when it crashed during the Bin Laden raid.

An official with the SEALs told The Huffington Post that they don't allow journalists to embed with their units conducting counterterrorism units. They also said that they weren't sure how Williams could have obtained a piece of the helicopter, which was covered in a sensitive coating designed to cloak it from radar.

Williams has also changed the way he tells a third story — from a much earlier time in his life — over the years, CNN reported.

In 2002, he said that he was at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. when Pope John Paul II visited in 1979. Two years later, he said that he had met the pope. But his exact account of how he came to speak with the Catholic leader has varied over the years.

Williams is currently on a six-month suspension without pay for saying that he had been on board a helicopter in the early days of the Iraq War that took fire from a rocket propelled grenade. He later acknowledged that story wasn't true, but said he hadn't meant to intentionally mislead people while telling it.

His admission caused the media to comb through his past appearances, and some have also raised questions about a story he told about his time covering Hurricane Katrina.