NBC News Anchor Brian Williams Temporarily Off Air

Brian Williams
Williams apologized on the air last week for a false claim. NBC/YouTube.com

NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC News anchor Brian Williams said on Saturday he will take himself off the evening newscast for several days as the network probes misstatements related to his experience reporting on the Iraq war in 2003.

"In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions," Williams said in a statement posted on NBC News's website.

Williams said he planned eventually to return to the broadcast and "continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us."

Lester Holt, who typically anchors NBC Nightly News on weekends, will step in to handle the weekday evening broadcast in the interim, Williams said.

NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp., on Friday said it was launching an internal probe of Williams's false statements that he was in a helicopter that was brought down by enemy fire during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Williams has admitted that he portrayed the episode inaccurately, but his apology -- in which he said he misremembered the incident -- provoked widespread derision, with some war veterans calling for his resignation.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article identified NBC Nightly News as NBC Evening News.