Rio 2016 spokesperson Mario Andrada may have said American swimmer Ryan Lochte doesn’t owe his country an apology for fabricating a story about getting robbed at gunpoint during the Olympic Games, but Today Show co-host Al Roker refused to let Lochte off so easily.
During a heated exchange with his fellow NBC colleague Billy Bush, Roker let it be know that he wasn’t here for folks making excuses for Lochte’s behavior.
“He lied,” Roker told Bush plainly. “He lied to you, he lied to Matt Lauer, he lied to his mom, he left his teammates hanging while he skedaddled.”
Bush then tried to give Lochte the benefit of the doubt, telling his co-host, the swimmer “embellished some details,” but Roker wouldn’t hear it. He continued to go in on the Olympian.
“No. There was no robbery, there was no pull-over, there was nothing,” Roker retorted. “Nobody cocked a gun to his head. He lied.”
Bush, who was the first to get Lochte’s robbery story on camera, still tried to cover for the swimmer, continuing to say the 32-year-old didn’t outright lie but rather “embellished” his story. Roker, on the other hand, wouldn’t let Lochte slide–even when Bush told him to “calm down.”
Once the story of Lochte’s lie became an international controversy, the swimmer took to social media to apologize.
“I want to apologize for my behavior last weekend — for not being more careful and candid in how I described the events of that early morning and for my role in taking the focus away from the many athletes fulfilling their dreams of participating in the Olympics,” he wrote in a statement. “There has already been too much said and too many valuable resources dedicated to what happened last weekend, so I hope we spend our time celebrating the great stories and performances of these Games and look ahead to celebrating future successes.”
— Ryan Lochte (@RyanLochte) August 19, 2016
After Lochte issued his statement, Roker commended the athlete for apologizing and asked folks to “accept it and move on.”