MSNBC’s O’Donnell Defends Shady Trump Loan Claims: We Don’t Know If ‘Inaccurate’

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During the opening moments of MSNBC’s The Last Word on Wednesday, host and serial fibber Lawrence O’Donnell buckled under pressure from President Trump’s legal team and retracted his dubious report from the previous night. The report suggested the President’s loan from Deutsche Bank was co-signed by Russian oligarchs.

Despite spending much of his Tuesday show flaunting his claims, which came from a single anonymous source, O’Donnell’s apology lasted less than a minute; a scant 57 seconds.

Last night on this show, I discussed information that wasn't ready for reporting. 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,” he admitted.

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

But considering that Lyin’ Brian Williams, Joy Reid, and Mike Barnicle are still counted on the payroll of MSNBC, and the network ran with the lies of Julie Swetnick (against Justice Kavanagh) when they knew the accusations were false, it’s arguable, if not clear, that MSNBC has no such “rigorous verification and standards process.”

 

 

Had it gone through that process I would not have been permitted to report it,” O’Donnell continued. “I should not have said it on air or posted it on Twitter. I was wrong to do so.”

O’Donnell seemed to admit that the threat of a defamation lawsuit from the President’s legal team drove him and the network to retract the story. “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,” he said.

In concluding his apology, O’Donnell defended his accusations by arguing that “we don't know whether the information is inaccurate” and that they simply weren’t “ready for broadcast.”

“And for that, I apologize.”

There’s still no word from MSNBC if there’ll be any disciplinary action or punishment against O’Donnell.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

MSNBC’s The Last Word
August 28, 2019
10:00:46 p.m. Eastern [57 seconds]

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Last night on this show I discussed information that wasn't ready for reporting. 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.

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.

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.

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