MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell on Wednesday retracted his report that Russian oligarchs co-signed President Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans.
On Tuesday, O’Donnell cited a single source to deliver what would have been a bombshell report.
“The source close to Deutsche Bank says that the Trump tax returns reveal that the president pays little to no income tax in some years,” O’Donnell said on air. “And the source says that Deutsche Bank is in possession of loan documents that show Donald Trump has obtained loans with co-signers and that he would not have been able to obtain those loans without co-signers.”
“The source close to Deutsche Bank says that the co-signers of Donald Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans are Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin,” he said. “If true, that would explain every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin. If true, that would be a significant factor in Vladimir Putin’s publicly stated preference for presidential candidate Donald Trump over presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.”
O’Donnell retracts story:
After Trump’s lawyer threatened to sue MSNBC, O’Donnell retracted his report.
"Last night on this show I discussed information that wasn't ready for reporting," O’Donnell said Wednesday. "I repeated statements a single source told me about the president's finances and loan documents with Deutsche Bank."
"Saying 'if true' as I discussed the information was not good enough." he continued. "I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source. Had it gone through that process I would not have been permitted to report it."
"I should not have said it on air or posted it on Twitter. I was wrong to do so," he added. "This afternoon, attorneys for the president sent us a letter asserting the story is false. They demanded a retraction. Tonight we are retracting the story. We don't know whether the information is inaccurate. But the fact is, we do know it wasn't ready for broadcast, and for that I apologize."
Trump lashed out at O’Donnell on Twitter after the retractions.
“Crazy Lawrence O’Donnell, who has been calling me wrong from even before I announced my run for the Presidency, even being previously forced by NBC to apologize, which he did while crying, for things he said about me & The Apprentice, was again forced to apologize, this time for the most ridiculous claim of all, that Russia, Russia, Russia, or Russian oligarchs, co-signed loan documents for me, a guarantee,” Trump wrote. “Totally false, as is virtually everything else he, and much of the rest of the LameStream Media, has said about me for years. ALL APOLOGIZE!”
“The totally inaccurate reporting by Lawrence O’Donnell, for which he has been forced by NBC to apologize, is NO DIFFERENT than the horrible, corrupt and fraudulent Fake News that I (and many millions of GREAT supporters) have had to put up with for years. So bad for the USA!” he added.
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale noted, “Just watched O’Donnell’s 2015 apology for questioning Trump’s Apprentice salary. He was not crying or even close to crying. He was close to chuckling at times.”
“Trump has a long history of lying about people crying.”