NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2012
Alex Wong/Getty Images

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knew that Ray Rice punched his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, because Rice told him as much in person, according to sources who spoke with ESPN.

"Ray didn't lie to the commissioner," a source with knowledge of the meeting told ESPN. "He told the full truth to Goodell—he made it clear he had hit her, and he told Goodell he was sorry and that it wouldn't happen again."

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"He told the truth," a second source confirmed. "This is a public lynching of Ray."

On Wednesday Baltimore Ravens Manager Ozzie Newsome told CBS Sports that Rice had, in fact, told him that he punched his then-fiancee during the February incident.

"Ray had given a story to John [Harbaugh] and I. And what we saw on the video was what Ray said. Ray didn't lie to me. He didn't lie to me," Newsome said.

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Goodell told CBS This Morning Tuesday that the league asked police officials for the elevator surveillance video from the Atlantic City, N.J., hotel where the incident happened, "because when we make a decision we want to have all the information that's available. When we met with Ray Rice and his representatives, it was ambiguous about what actually happened."

During the interview, Goodell was adamant that neither he nor the NFL had seen the video, but the Associated Press reported that the video was sent to the NFL as far back as April.

On Wednesday the NFL announced that Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, will head a probe into the handling of evidence in the Rice case, but many have speculated that Mueller, who currently works as a lawyer and has worked with NFL teams, will most likely not recommend that Goodell be terminated.