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28 Aug, 2019 22:24

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell walks back claim Trump’s loans were co-signed by Russian ‘oligarchs’

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell walks back claim Trump’s loans were co-signed by Russian ‘oligarchs’

MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell has retracted a bombshell claim that President Donald Trump took out bank loans with the help of “Russian billionaires,” after the president complained to the network.

The pundit took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to pull back the claim, which first featured on his show Tuesday night and went viral in #Resistance circles, adding that he would address the matter in the upcoming broadcast.

“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. “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.”

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O’Donnell had claimed that Trump received loans from Deutsche Bank with Russian “co-signers.” Though he admitted on air that the assertion would “require a lot more verification before [it] can be a confirmable fact,” he nevertheless passed on the claim to thousands of viewers.

His abrupt reversal comes after an attorney for President Trump demanded that the network “immediately and prominently” retract and apologize for what the lawyer called “false and defamatory” claims.

A MSNBC producer appeared to walk back the claim in a tweet earlier on Wednesday, hours prior to O’Donnell’s, noting the outlet had not seen the bank records in question and that the reporting remained unverified.

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Journalists critical of the mainstream “Russia” hysteria held up O’Donnell’s about-face as yet another case of proving them right.

Some critics put more focus on the fact that the network never actually saw the documents it was claiming to report on...

...While others predicted an utter lack of consequences or accountability for such an “egregious journalistic error.”

“On top of reminding us what a farce Russiagate is, this is also a reminder that some of the industry’s highest-paid journalists are also the industry’s worst journalists,”tweeted journalist Aaron Mate. “Their recklessness hurts the whole profession. Should people get paid millions to degrade journalism?”

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