Maybe Fox is working for Trump again. The news outlet is reporting that MSNBC host, Lawrence O’Donnell has admitted that it was an “error in judgment” after airing a singled-sourced, unverified report that President Trump had loans co-signed by Russian oligarchs.
“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,” O’Donnell tweeted on the afternoon of August 28.
The liberal host’s “mea culpa” came just hours after the president’s legal team sent a harshly worded letter to NBC on Wednesday demanding an apology and retraction for what it called “false and defamatory, and extremely damaging” comments.
The letter, which was obtained by Fox News, was sent by Trump’s legal counsel to NBC Universal executives.
“We write concerning the false and defamatory statements published by Lawrence O’Donnell and NBC Universal,” the letter read.
“Demand is hereby made that Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements.”
The letter, written by Charles J. Harder, asked for NBC to confirm in 24 hours that, “O’Donnell and NBCU will immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements.”
“Failure to do so will leave my clients with no alternative but to consider their legal options which could include immediate legal proceedings against Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU,” Harder added.
Fox reported that NBC News did not immediately respond to its request for comment.
The incident occurred the evening of Tuesday, August 27, when O’Donnell and fellow far-left MSNBC host Rachel Maddow were discussing how Trump was “able to obtain loans when no one else would loan him any money” when he tossed out the unverified speculation.
“I may have some information, in this next hour, which would add a great deal to their understanding of that, if true, and I’ll be discussing it here,” O’Donnell said. “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 that he has co-signers. That’s how he was able to obtain those loans and that the co-signers are Russian oligarchs.”
A stunned Maddow leaned back in her chair and responded, “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.
The letter from the Presidents attorneys in response to O’Donnell’s unverified claims said, “These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging. The only borrowers under these loans are Trump entities, and Mr. Trump is the only guarantor. Numerous documents for each of these loans are also recorded, publicly available and searchable online. Thus, actual malice can easily be proven based on your reckless disregard of the truth and unreasonable reliance on an alleged ‘source’ who you will not even identify in your story and likely is seeking to mislead you and the public for political reasons or other ulterior motives…”
The letter concluded by stating that if NBC failed to retract the story and apologize, Trump would “pursue all available causes of action and seek all available damages and other legal remedies to the maximum extent permitted by law.”