In his newscast tonight, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams compared America’s first presidents to the president-elect of Iran, alleged hostage-taker Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying they were “certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists by the British crown.”

At least six of the Americans held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran as hostages for 444 days claim Ahmadinejad was one of the leaders of the captors, having recognized him on television reports.

Williams’ comment came in a question to reporter Andrea Mitchell.

At the end of Mitchell’s report, Williams asked, “What would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called ‘terrorists’ by the British crown, after all.”

The former students who carried out the seizure and held the Americans in Tehran said Ahmadinejad had no role in taking the embassy or guarding the hostages, but that he preferred to target the Soviet Embassy, the Associated Press reported.

“He was not part of us. He played no role in the seizure,” Abbas Abdi, one of six leaders of the group, told AP.

Members of Ahmadinejad’s office refused to look at the photos or comment on the allegations.

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