Lawrence O’Donnell said that he was wrong to read a story about President Donald Trump’s finances during his Tuesday night MSNBC show, saying he made an “error in judgment” by discussing the unverified report on the air.
“I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source,” he said at the start of his show. He said if he had gone through the process, he wouldn’t have been permitted to report it.
“Tonight, we are retracting the story,” he said.
“We don’t know whether the information is inaccurate,” he said. “But the fact is, we do know it wasn’t ready for broadcast, and for that I apologize.”
He also tweeted earlier:
The Tuesday night segment in question involved O’Donnell telling viewers that Russian oligarchs had co-signed Trump’s loans from Deutsche Bank, a report he teased on Twitter too. He stressed the story had not been confirmed by NBC News, was based on a single anonymous source and still needed to be verified to determine if it was true.
“I have not seen any documentation from Deutsche Bank that supports this and verifies this,” O’Donnell said on the air Tuesday night, according to CNN. “This is just a single source who has revealed that to me.”
The unconfirmed report prompted Trump’s lawyers to send NBC a letter demanding a retraction.