Well, this is just embarrassing. And just awful. MSNBC has officially hit rock bottom and should probably take a huge hit with advertisers.
How could this happen? It was the Russia hoax all over again – did they not learn their lesson?
“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,” O’Donnell started.
“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 finished his retraction – Trump did threaten to sue which certainly hastened the clarification.
Last night Lawrence O’Donnell ran a hit piece on Trump attributed to a single source.
Anonymous, of course, but even more shocking the source admitted to not seeing the documents so this is a single source spouting second-hand information to damage Trump.
Of course, they ran the story because it claims that Trump needed co-signers on his loans from Deutsche Bank and that those co-signers are Russian oligarchs close to Putin.
Enter Trump’s lawyers. From Breitbart:
“This law firm is litigation counsel for President Donald J. Trump (‘Mr. Trump’) and The Trump Organization (‘Trump Org.’),” Charles Harder of Harder LLP law firm wrote to MSNBC executives, in a letter obtained by Breitbart News.
“We write concerning the false and defamatory statements published by Lawrence O’Donnell and NBC Universal (‘NBCU’) (collectively, ‘you’ and ‘your’) about Mr. Trump and Trump Org. in an episode of the program, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, which was broadcasted on or about August 27, 2019 (the ‘Program’), and also published by Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU in a tweet posted on that same date (the ‘Tweet’).
The Program and Tweet make the false and defamatory statements that ‘Russian oligarchs’ cosigned loans provided to Mr. Trump by Deutsche Bank, and described these ‘co-signers’ as ‘Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.’”
Harder writes that the statements from O’Donnell and MSNBC are “false and defamatory.”
“These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging,” the president’s lawyer wrote. “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.”
As such, Harder wrote that Trump is demanding a retraction and apology from MSNBC and O’Donnell.
“Demand is hereby made that Mr. O’Donnell and NBCU immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements,” Harder’s letter continues.
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