Less than 24 hours after he delivered a potentially blockbuster report saying that Donald Trump obtained massive loans from Deutsche Bank with the help of “Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin,” MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell backed away from the story, CNN reported on Wednesday afternoon.
On his Tuesday, August 27, broadcast of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the 67-year-old former writer for the political TV drama The West Wing stated that a “single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that the Trump — Donald Trump’s loan documents there show that he has co-signers. That’s how he was able to obtain those loans. And that the co-signers are Russian oligarchs,” as quoted by The Washington Examiner.
The allegation clearly had far-reaching implications. Putin’s Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump win, as special counsel Robert Mueller stated in the report of his investigative findings, published online by The New York Times. Mueller said that the Trump campaign “welcomed” the illegal Russian sabotage on his Trump’s behalf.
Since assuming office, Trump has cultivated an unusually warm relationship with Putin — even though Putin’s Russia is considered by experts, such as those at The Brookings Institute, to be an “adversary” of the United States.
As recently as this past weekend, Trump forceful advocated on Putin’s behalf to other world leaders at the G7 summit in France, as The Inquisitr reported, leading The Washington Post to label Trump “a Putin cheerleader and apologist.”
O’Donnell, on his Tuesday broadcast, said that if his story — which he acknowledged was based on the statements of a single source — were true, it “would explain, it seems to me, every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin,” according to the Examiner account.
But on Wednesday, after lawyers for Trump sent a letter to MSNBC calling O’Donnell’s report “false and defamatory,” as The Inquisitr reported, O’Donnell said that he was “wrong” to have reported the story — though O’Donnell significantly did not state that the allegations in his report were incorrect.
“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 wrote on his Twitter account. “I shouldn’t have reported it and I was wrong to discuss it on the air.”
During the late 1990s and into the next decade, Deutsche Bank loaned Trump approximately $1 billion, as The Inquisitr has reported. The bank made the massive loans at a time when no other bank considered Trump creditworthy due to the multiple bankruptcies of his Atlantic City casino properties. Why Deutsche Bank was willing to extend large credit lines to Trump anyway has remained a mystery — one that the allegations reported by O’Donnell would appear to solve, if verified.