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MSNBC Story Flub Gives Trump an Opening

He points to O'Donnell retraction as an example of media bias against him
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2019 9:47 AM CDT
Lawrence O'Donnell has walked back a thinly sourced story about President Trump.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
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(Newser) – Lawrence O'Donnell thought he had a scoop damaging to President Trump. Instead, the president was pointing to the resulting controversy at MSNBC as an example of unfair treatment by the media. "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," Trump tweeted Thursday. He also called O'Donnell "crazy." The MSNBC anchor did indeed apologize after reporting, based on a single source, that Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin had co-signed Trump loans at Deutsche Bank. The network also retracted the story.

"We don't know whether the information is inaccurate, but the fact is we do know it wasn't ready for broadcast," O'Donnell said on the air Wednesday night. "And for that, I apologize." Not good enough, says Eric Trump. "This was a reckless attempt to slander our family and smear a great company," tweeted the president's son. "As a company, we will be taking legal action. This unethical behavior has to stop." The Hill notes that O'Donnell's story came on the heels of a court filing Tuesday in which Deutsche Bank said it had tax returns pertaining to House Democrats' subpoenas for Trump financial records. However, the bank did not specify whose returns they were. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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