Embattled NBC News anchor Brian Williams has canceled an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show WIth David Letterman” that was set before the controversy erupted over his claims of coming under fire in Iraq in 2003.
An NBC News source confirmed that Williams would not appear on Thursday’s edition of “The Late Show” as scheduled and announced by CBS last week. By Saturday evening, CBS had lined up Tom Hanks as a replacement for Thursday’s show.
Williams has been a frequent guest on Letterman’s show. In a 2013 appearance Williams recounted to Letterman the dramatic story of wartime action in Iraq that has now put his career as a journalist in jeopardy.
NBC News said Saturday that Williams would “take a break” for several days from his anchor duties on “The NBC Nightly News” while the network probes the specifics of his claims.
Iraq War veterans earlier this month challenged Williams’ assertion that he had been in a helicopter in Iraq that came under enemy fire. Last week on “Nightly News,” Williams acknowledged that his account was misleading and that he had been in a different helicopter removed from the one that was grounded by fire.
The scrutiny of Williams’ Iraq story had led to questions about past Williams’ claims, including some of his statements from his coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
(Pictured: Brian Williams on ‘The Late Show’ in 2011)