Brian Williams got another unwanted 15 minutes of fame, trending briefly on Twitter after Donald Trump’s speech this morning, coverage of which Williams was anchoring for MSNBC.
Attacking the record of presumptive Dem nominee Hillary Clinton, as reporters had been promised he would, Trump said the former secretary of state “as most people know, is a world-class liar. … Just look at her pathetic email and server statements or her phony landing in Bosnia, where she said she was under attack, but the attack turned out to be young girls handing her flowers – a totally self-serving lie. Brian Williams’ career was destroyed for saying far less.”
When the speech wrapped, Williams was back on MSNBC’s air; he did not reference Trump’s comment about him, instead introducing the panel MSNBC had assembled to deconstruct the presumptive GOP nominee’s speech.
Williams, former anchor of the country’s most watched newscast, NBC Nightly News, got suspended for six months in early 2015 so NBC News could investigate allegations Williams had made up claims about his experiences, some of which he had repeated on the evening newscast. Williams ultimately returned to NBC News but shifted to a job as breaking-news anchor and a mid-day host for MSNBC.
One year ago this month, Trump also played the Brian Williams card when NBC canceled plans to air his Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants. The network scrubbed the pageants from its schedule after Trump announced his candidacy with a speech in which he promised to build a wall to keep out all the Mexican rapists and murderers. Responding to NBC’s pageant move, Trump slammed the network for standing “behind lying Brian Williams” but not him and threatened legal action. “Their contract-violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court,” Trump’s office said in a statement. “Furthermore, they will stand behind lying Brian Williams but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be.”