Brian Williams Resigns from Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation Board

AFP Photo / Robyn Beck
AFP Photo / Robyn Beck

Brian Williams has not resigned from NBC News over reports of a history of lies, but he has stepped down from the board of directors of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, where he had served since 2006. The foundation announced Williams’ resignation Thursday.

Williams was suspended from NBC News February 10, after it was revealed he had lied about a 2003 helicopter mission in Iraq.

CNNMoney asked Ronald T. Rand, the president and CEO of the Medal of Honor Foundation, for a comment, but no response was forthcoming. The foundation’s website states that it seeks to uphold the award’s “legacy through outreach and collaborative efforts.”

Even after Williams acknowledged on February 4 that he had made a mistake, according to CNN, “Some observers began to question Williams’ presence on the Medal of Honor Foundation’s board.”

Williams has shown a lack of respect for the Medal of Honor for years, according to the Boston Herald. The Herald reported that when Williams was asked to serve as master of ceremonies at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s gala banquet in Boston on Saturday, September 30, 2006, upon his arrival, he told committee members Tom Lyons and Neal Santangelo that a “pressing engagement” back in New York left him no other option than to greet the guests and then leave.

Lyons and Santangelo arranged a police escort to hurry Williams back to Logan Airport to catch his plane. Later, Santangelo’s wife phoned from their hotel room and told her husband Williams was appearing live with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler in a Weekend Update sketch on Saturday Night Live.

Santangelo wrote Williams a blistering letter, which he never sent because the Society told him they did not “want to burn any bridges with this guy.”

Santangelo’s letter stated:

I … cannot believe that you left us for this. In an act of egotistical, blatant self-promotion, you deceived the (Medal of Honor) Recipients, declined to break bread with them and disrespected them.

You placed comedy before courage. … Your conduct was irreverent, insulting, incomprehensible and shameful. You may attempt to “spin” the issue to support your position, but that will do nothing but bring you further shame in my eyes.

Santangelo then told Williams what steps he needed to take next, writing, “You need to apologize to America’s veterans and to the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces defending freedom around the globe. Anything less is unacceptable.”