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Brian Williams

Deception Excuse Makes No Sense

6/19/2015 6:51 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Brian Williams tried explaining to Matt Lauer why he lied about war and other stories, but he may have dug a deeper hole for himself. 

Williams appeared on "Today" Friday and said the last 5 months have been "torture" for him.  

Matt began probing for motive, and Brian said he somehow drew a truth line ... when he got out of his anchor chair and did a talk show, he got "sloppier" because he felt the pressure of having to be quick and funny.

Matt then followed up and asked about lies Brian told in the anchor chair, and Brian said, "It came from a sloppy choice of words."  

It doesn't make sense ... in the anchor chair there was no pressure to be quick or funny ... so how is that a "sloppiness" issue rather than a lying issue?

Rachel Dolezal's Father

She's Lying ...

About Brown Crayons

6/16/2015 8:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0616-larry-rachel-dolezal-abc-01The lies keep coming from Rachel Dolezal ... according to her father, who says she told another big one to Matt Lauer when she talked about drawing herself with brown crayons.

Larry Dolezal tells TMZ it simply never happened -- he never saw his daughter using brown crayons instead of "peach" ... as she claimed she did when she was 5 years old. He says she didn't start "fantasizing" herself as black until her 20s or 30s.

After watching Rachel on "Today" ... her father thinks she's still trying to deceive people, and says he wishes she would just be honest. He has no problem with her identifying as black and assimilating into the culture ... as long as she's honest about who she is. 

Dolezal added, "What would you think if I said to you since I adopted 4 African-American children I'm going to identify as black. I have a pretty good tan. Is that enough?"

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Rachel Dolezal

'I Identify As Black'

6/16/2015 5:23 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Rachel Dolezal says she identifies as a black woman ... which she claims began when she was just five years old.

Dolezal, sitting down with Matt Lauer on NBC News' "Today," says she used to color self-portraits as a child ... using a brown crayon instead of a peach one.

The ousted NAACP leader claims she never doctored her appearance -- or donned "blackface" -- in order to pass as African-American, explaining, "I don't put on blackface as a performance ... I certainly don’t stay out of the sun."

Dolezal was joined by two of her sons, Isaiah and Franklin, who Dolezal says identify her "culturally" as black. 

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Rachel Dolezal

Just Blending In

6/15/2015 2:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0615-rachel-dolezal-leaving-airport-TWITTER-01Rachel Dolezal's not hiding from the controversy -- she was easily the most photographed passenger at Spokane International Airport on Monday.

Hours after she submitted her resignation to the NAACP, Rachel slipped into a low cut dress and heels -- and was spotted around Spokane ... and then headed to the airport.

Rachel was still rocking her perm as she stood in line at the TSA checkpoint.

No word where she's flying, but our guess is somewhere for a sit-down interview. The networks/Oprah aren't about to let a story this juicy go away quietly.update_graphic_red_bar3:25 PM PT -- We have a winner in the RD sweepstakes! NBC just announced Dolezal will be on Tuesday's episode of "Today."

Tracy Morgan

Breaks Down Describing Fatal Crash

6/1/2015 6:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Tracy Morgan could not contain his emotions as he described the pain of the car accident that took his friend's life.

Morgan told Matt Lauer on "Today" ... it wasn't until he came out of a coma two weeks after the accident that he learned his friend, comedian James McNair, was killed in the crash.

Morgan broke down several times as he described the torment of the crash ... both physical and emotional.

Morgan said he has good days and bad ones ... and forgets things from time to time. He suffered a serious brain injury from the crash. Tracy says  he deals with nosebleeds and headaches, which he tries to hide from his family.

Morgan said he's glad the case against Walmart is behind him. The case was recently settled.

Kim Kardashian

The Kardashians Are Behind Bruce Jenner

100 PERCENT

4/27/2015 6:06 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

There is absolutely no dissent in the Kardashian camp when it comes to Bruce Jenner ... they all support him completely ... so says Kim Kardashian

KK hit up the "Today" show Monday morning to talk about Bruce's moving and heartfelt interview with Diane Sawyer. She told Matt Lauer the family is still adjusting to things -- like what pronoun to use when discussing Bruce.  

She also says it's all very new, and they're still adjusting.

Pete Carroll

I Cried Over Loss

I Thought Pass Would Work

2/5/2015 6:04 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Pete Carroll says he actually cried over his Super Bowl fail ... but he's still defending his decision to PASS on that infamous play from the goal line.

The Seattle Seahawks coach sat down with NBC's Matt Lauer for the "Today" show -- and spilled his guts about the play that's been hailed as the worst call in Super Bowl history. 

"I never make a call thinking it's gonna go bad," Carroll said ... "This was properly planned. It just didn't turn out well."

As for the tears, Carroll says he was hit with a wave of emotion around 4:05 AM the next day ... and just let the waterworks go.   

When Lauer asked if the play was the worst call ever ... Carroll replied, "It was the worst result of a call ever. The call woulda been a great one if we caught it."

Pete Carroll

Sitting Down with Matt Lauer

... I'll Explain Myself On 'Today'

2/4/2015 6:13 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Now that he's had some time to think about that stupid play call, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will once again try to explain himself during a sit-down interview with Matt Lauer

Unclear if Carroll shot the interview Tuesday night or will do it Wednesday ... but NBC says it will begin to air snippets tonight on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."

Question is ... with Marshawn Lynch actively negotiating his next contract, can Carroll say anything to Lauer that will convince Beast Mode to stay in Seattle??  

Or will he take his talents to a team that will actually use him when the game's on the line?

Nancy Snyderman

I'm Sorry for Breaking Ebola Quarantine ... BUT

12/3/2014 5:39 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
120314_nancy_snyderman_launch_v3Dr. Nancy Snyderman once again tried apologizing for breaking her Ebola quarantine ... but again, there were asterisks and excuses.

Snyderman sat down Wednesday morning with Matt Lauer and in her own way tried apologizing for breaking her Ebola quarantine.

She said she was sorry, but then made excuses ... she and her crew had taken their temps for days and they were fine ... somehow justifying her decision to break the quarantine for a restaurant run.

She said she was sorry for "adding to the confusion" about Ebola ... though we're pretty sure Nancy is the only person confused about the meaning of the word "quarantine."

This is probably as good as it's gonna get.

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Matt Lauer

Janay Rice Interview 'Was Fantastic'

11/13/2014 9:12 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
111314_matt_lauer_launchMatt Lauer says his sitdown with Ray Rice's wife was "great" -- but it's clear he doesn't want to give too much away ... because he just bobbed and weaved like Muhammad Ali! 

Matt was heading over to 30 Rock in NYC this morning when he acknowledged the interview was in the can.

But watch the deflection technique ... Matt knows the golden rule when it comes to promoting a big interview -- no one's gonna buy the cow if he gives away the milk for free.

Ray Rice's Wife

Lights. Camera. Lauer.

11/13/2014 4:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1113-ray-rice-wife-nbc-interview-instagramRay Rice's wife Janay is ready for her close-up ... meeting up with beauty specialists before her big "Today" show interview with Matt Lauer

With cameras setup in her Maryland home, Janay Palmer -- the woman Ray KO'd in the elevator back in February -- invited over a local company that specializes in photo shoots to gussy her up.

The company is called Franchon Parlour -- and it does everything from wardrobe selection to hair extensions. 

It's clear that Janay and Ray want it to look like the interview is all about Janay -- but our NBC sources tell us Ray is the main reason they want this interview. And, our sources say Ray WILL be participating in some way even though his people say he is not yet committed.

We're told Ray was at the home when Janay went on camera.

Matt Lauer

I'm Not Saying

There's a Ray Rice Interview, But ...

11/12/2014 10:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
Matt Lauer Ray Rice InterviewMatt Lauer had every opportunity to say he does not have an interview lined up with disgraced NFL star Ray Rice, but he didn't.

As TMZ Sports first reported ... NBC sources told us Lauer snagged an interview with Rice and wife Janay.  Our Rice sources say nothing is set in stone for him ... that "Today" is more interested in Janay, but our NBC sources say that's not true -- Rice is the prize.

So when our photog spotted Lauer in NYC Wednesday morning and mentioned the Ray interview, Lauer said repeatedly no "announcement" had been made. Interesting.

BTW ... how cool is Matt?

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Ray Rice

Breaking Silence to Matt Lauer

On 'Today' Show Sit-Down

11/11/2014 11:36 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Matt Lauer has won the war for Ray Rice -- booking the disgraced NFL star to appear on the "Today" show for an exclusive sit-down interview during sweeps ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

It's unclear if Ray's wife Janay Rice will participate in the interview. 

We're told the interview is expected to air sometime between now and Nov. 26th. 

It's a huge score for NBC ... especially since Rice and Janay have been radio silent with the media ever since we published the elevator footage showing Ray KOing Janay in an Atlantic City casino. 

update_graphic_red_barA source connected with Rice just contacted us and said Rice has made no commitment to sit-down with "Today" and will not do anything until after the arbitration decision on his suspension is made. The source says "Today" was really only interested in Janay, not Ray. Our NBC sources dispute that and say Rice is the prize. The Rice source says they will consider the interview but only after arbitration.

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