Threatened by President Donald Trump‘s attorney with possible legal action, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell has admitted to an “error in judgment” in broadcasting a single-source report that claimed Russian oligarchs co-signed loans for the nation’s current Commander-in-Chief.
On Tuesday night’s The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, the host cited a singular, unnamed source close to Deutsche Bank, who claimed that Trump’s loans have Russian co-signers — namely, “Russian oligarchs.”
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“If true, that explains every kind word Trump has ever said about Russia and Putin,” O’Donnell opined.
A law firm acting on behalf of President Trump slapped O’Donnell and NBC Universal with a two-page “demand” on Wednesday, claiming the report was “false and defamatory, and extremely damaging.”
“Mr. Trump is the only guarantor” on said loans, the letter claimed, and given that such information is allegedly “publicly available and searchable online,” O’Donnell was accused of possibly acting with “actual malice” and misleading the public “for political reasons.”
Trump’s lawyers “hereby” demanded that O’Donnell/NBCU “immediately and permanently retract, correct and apologize for the… false and defamatory statements.” And should they fail to do so, “immediate legal proceedings” were dangled.
O’Donnell promptly responded on Twitter, saying: “Last night I made an error in judgment by reporting an item about the president’s finances that didn’t go through our rigorous verification and standards process. I shouldn’t have reported it and I was wrong to discuss it on the air. I will address the issue on my show [Wednesday night].”
Last night I made an error in judgment by reporting an item about the president’s finances that didn’t go through our rigorous verification and standards process. I shouldn’t have reported it and I was wrong to discuss it on the air. I will address the issue on my show tonight.
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) August 28, 2019