MSNBC’s O’Donnell Ripped for Single Sourced Trump-Russia Story
August 29, 2019 | by James G. Dalton
President Donald Trump is demanding MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell retract his story that Russian oligarchs co-signed a loan provided to Trump by Deutsche Bank.
“These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging,” Trump attorney Charles Harder wrote to NBC.
O’Donnell said he received the information from one source close to Deutsche Bank and he had not seen any documentation that supported and verified the claim.
“It’s going to need a lot more verification before that can be a confirmable fact,” he said Tuesday night on the air.
MSNBC producer Michael Del Moro on Wednesday morning tweeted the source had also not seen the bank records, a detail that critics jumped on.
“Lawrence O’Donnell tweeted the story out as if it was vetted, and now we’re learning that his single source has not even seen the bank records,” tweeted Josh Jordan, who has written for RealClearPolitics and the National Review. “This is some grossly irresponsible work from MSNBC and, once again, it plays right into Trump’s hands that the media is out to get him.”
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy questioned why the report ran on prime time, tweeting:
“Earlier, I asked NBC how O’Donnell’s reporting made it to air, given how thinly sourced it was and given that the network had not been able to confirm it. A spokesperson for NBC and MSNBC declined to comment.”