Lawrence O’Donnell Retracts Smear Of Trump — Org. Rejects Apology, Looks To Sue Him

The Trump Organization is suing MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell for defamation after the primetime host told fellow host Rachel Maddow that the Deutsche Bank had the president’s tax returns.

During the interview, O’Donnell repeatedly cited a single, unnamed source to claim Trump’s financial records showed he paid little to no income tax and that he had Russian oligarchs as co-signers on some of his loans.

The Washington Examiner reports:

According to O’Donnell, the documents proved that the co-signers on Trump’s loan documents are “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.”

O’Donnell went on to add that if the source was correct, it would explain some of the president’s behavior toward Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The initial bombshell caused quite the splash and even Maddow was floored by the reporting, Fox News reports:

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?”

The Trump administration quickly slammed the accusations and demanded an apology. Per the Washington Examiner:

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a scathing statement alleging that this type of reporting is why Americans “have lost trust in the media.”

President Trump’s lawyers sent a letter to NBC Universal demanding a retraction and an apology for “false and defamatory” statements, which were “extremely damaging.”

O’Donnell seemed to walk back his claims when he issued a retraction both over social media and on his evening program.

“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 tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “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.”

“Last night on this show I discussed information that wasn’t ready for reporting,” O’Donnell echoed on his show, the Washington Examiner reports. “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 simply not good enough.”

“I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source,” he added.

“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,” the host admitted per the report.

And: “This afternoon attorneys for the president sent us a letter asserting the story is false. They also 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.”

President Trump severely criticized O’Donnell and the claims in a set of tweets on Thursday morning.

“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. 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!” Trump said.

“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!” the president continued.

BizPac Review reports the Trump Organization, run by President Trump’s son, Eric Trump, is not accepting the apology and is deciding to take legal action against O’Donnell:

Apology NOT accepted!

President Donald Trump’s middle son, Eric Trump, announced Wednesday evening on social media that he doesn’t accept MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s pro forma apology.

“This was a reckless attempt to slander our family and smear a great company,” Eric, who serves as the executive vice president of the Trump Organization, wrote in a tweet.

“Apologies are not enough when the true intent was solely to damage and cause harm. As a company, we will be taking legal action. This unethical behavior has to stop.”

Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in articles do not necessarily reflect the views held by Sarah Palin.