President Trump on Thursday blasted Lawrence O’Donnell and the media at large after the MSNBC host was forced to retract an unverified report he shared on his show this week that tied Trump’s finances to Russia. Calling the report “totally false,” the president demanded that the media as a whole apologize for “inaccurate reporting.”
“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 tweeted.
The president’s tweets come after O’Donnell and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow discussed Tuesday night how Trump was “able to obtain loans when no one else would loan him any money.” O’Donnell then hinted that he “may have some information” that would “add understanding to that, if true.”
“I stress ‘if true,’ because this is a single source who has told me that Deutsche Bank obtained tax returns…this single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that Donald Trump’s loan documents there show he has co-signers. That’s how he was able to obtain those loans and that the co-signers are Russian oligarchs.”
Maddow, stunned, replied: “What? Really?”
O’Donnell added “that would explain every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin if his information is accurate.” On Wednesday morning the White House blasted the report, and later in the day Trump’s legal team penned a letter to NBCUniversal demanding a retraction and an apology for the “aforementioned false and defamatory” reporting and threatened to take legal action. “This is one of the reasons that a majority of Americans have lost trust in the media. Instead of applying ethics and standards to their reporting, journalists and left-wing outlets have weaponized the media, using it to attack and harass people with little to no regard for the truth,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Fox News.
Later, O’Donnell kicked off his Wednesday night show by apologizing for running the unverified report, after earlier in the day walking it back and referring to it as an “error in judgment.”
“Last night on this show, I discussed information that wasn’t ready for reporting,” O’Donnell said.
“I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source,” he continued. “Had it gone through that process, I would not have been permitted to report it. I should not have said it on-air or post it on Twitter. I was wrong to do so.”