Daily Caller

Trump Lawyer Demands MSNBC ‘Immediately’ Retract Report That Russians Backed Trump Loans

Chuck Ross on August 28, 2019

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney demanded NBC Universal and one of its MSNBC primetime hosts issue a retraction and apology for a report aired Tuesday night that bank records showed Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump Organization loans.

Lawrence O’Donnell dropped a would-be bombshell at the beginning of his show during a conversation with fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. The story, if accurate, would support a theory floated by Democrats and liberal pundits that Trump’s Deutsche Bank records contain information about illicit business dealings between the bank and Trump’s real estate firm.

“These statements are false and defamatory, and extremely damaging,” Charles Harder, a lawyer for Trump, wrote in a letter to NBC Universal general counsel Susan E. Weiner, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

He then demanded that O’Donnell and NBCU “immediately and prominently retract, correct and apologize for the aforementioned false and defamatory statements.”

“This single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that 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,” O’Donnell said on his show.

Maddow responded: “What? Really?”

O’Donnell acknowledged again at the end of his hour-long show that he hadn’t seen the Deutsche Bank records himself and that his report was based on a single source. NBC News had also not verified the report, he added.

“As I said at the beginning of this hour, and I want to say this carefully: A source close to Deutsche Bank revealed to me — a single source close to Deutsche Bank — that Donald Trump’s tax returns show that he pays very little income tax, and more importantly, that his loans with Deutsche Bank have Russian co-signers,” said O’Donnell.

He continued that the story has “not been confirmed by NBC News,” and that he hadn’t seen “any documentation from Deutsche Bank that supports this and verifies this. This is just a single source who has revealed that to me,” adding that, “it’s going to need a lot more verification before that can be a confirmable fact.”

Harder rebutted O’Donnell’s claims about co-signers to Trump loans, saying Trump entities were the “only borrowers” on the loans, and that “Mr. Trump is the only guarantor.”

“Numerous documents for each of these loans are also recorded, publicly available and searchable online,” said Harder. “Thus, actual malice can easily be proven based on your reckless disregard of the truth and unreasonable reliance on an alleged ‘source’ who you will not even identify in your story and likely is seeking to mislead you and the public for political reasons or other ulterior motives.”

Harder, who demanded that MSNBC retain all communications related to O’Donnell’s report, said if the company does not issue the retraction and apology, Trump and the Trump Organization will explore additional legal options “which could include immediate legal proceedings” against O’Donnell and NBC.

NBC Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment on O’Donnell’s thinly sourced story, or Harder’s demands.

Daily Caller

DCwire features investigative reporting syndicated with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

View Comments

  • May MSNBC die a death like CNN is, for all their blatant lies. Who believes all the crap they spew? Only die-hard Trump haters.

  • Typical Liberal response! It was not an ERROR as you claim! It was an outright LIE!!! MSNBC needs to acknowledge this fact and FIRE O'Donnell

  • Putin took back the Crimean Peninsula because he realized that we had a weak vacillating president named Obama. He wouldn't make that move against "W", and he certainly wouldn't do it against Trump. If anyone was killed in the Ukraine, it is directly on Barry's slender little shoulders. Why wouldn't Barry ever release his college transcripts? Did he even go to college?

  • So, POTUS could legally sue MSLSD for every penny they have. But then his portfolio would take a dramatic hit, and what does he really own after taking control. He's such a great businessman that he could turn it into a winner.

  • I’m so sick of the media being able to ruin people’s reputations based on here say. I hope Trump sues them and gets a HUGH settlement. The problem is the damage is done because Trump haters will believe these accusations. The media is always right. It is time for Congress and the Senate to rein them in. The media is nothing more than a rag magazine. The rag papers write Unbelievable stories like people having aliens babies but stupid people still buy and believe their make believe stories or lies. It needs to stop!

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