August 28, 2019

Trump lawyer threatens lawsuit after Lawrence ODonnells Russian oligarchs report
After tweeting angrily about Fox News, President Trump has some more cable news grievances. Trump's personal attorney, Charles Harder, on Wednesday sent a letter to NBCUniversal demanding a retraction and an apology after MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell reported the president's Deutsche Bank loans were co-signed by Russian oligarchs, reports The Hollywood Reporter. The host of The Last Word made this stunning allegation on his Tuesday show, but it hasn't been backed up by any other news outlets. Even while reporting it, O'Donnell noted that this was coming from a single source and that he hasn't actually seen the documents himself, offering an "if true" hedge. The source also hasn't seen the bank records. MSNBC on Wednesday received criticism for the airing of this claim, which has also not been corroborated by NBC News. In his letter to NBC on Wednesday, Harder calls O'Donnell's report "false and defamatory, and extremely damaging," saying that "the only borrowers under these loans are Trump entities, and Mr. Trump is the only guarantor." Trump's lawyer goes on to demand the network "immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize" for the story, threatening a lawsuit and saying that "actual malice can easily be proven" in this case. NBC hasn't yet responded to this threat and has been declining to weigh in amid the fallout of the segment, with CNN earlier reporting, "asked how O'Donnell's reporting made it to air, given how thinly-sourced it was and given that the network has not been able to confirm it, a spokesperson for NBC and MSNBC declined to comment." Update 5:30 p.m. ET: O'Donnell said in a tweet he "shouldn't have reported" the story, and said he made an "error in judgment" that "didn't go through our rigorous verification and standards process."
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