Eric Trump blasts MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell for ‘reckless attempt to slander’ his family and threatens to sue over retracted claim that Russian oligarchs co-signed Donald Trump’s bank loans
- Eric Trump responded on Wednesday to O’Donnell’s retracted claims
- Blasted the MSNBC host for a ‘reckless attempt to slander our family’
- Said the Trump Organization would pursue legal action in the case
- O’Donnell claimed Russian billionaires had co-signed Trump’s real estate loans
- He walked it back on Wednesday, saying he shouldn’t have aired the reporting
Eric Trump has blasted MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell over his retracted claim that Russian oligarchs co-signed President Donald Trump’s real estate loans.
‘This was a reckless attempt to slander our family and smear a great company. Apologies are not enough when the true intent was solely to damage and cause harm,’ Eric Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday.
‘As a company, we will be taking legal action. This unethical behavior has to stop,’ he continued, referring to the Trump Organization, where he is an executive vice president.
Earlier on Wednesday, O’Donnell retracted a bombshell report, admitting he shouldn’t have aired the claim about Donald Trump’s loans from Deutsche Bank.
Eric Trump blasted MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell over his retracted claim that Russian oligarchs co-signed President Donald Trump’s real estate loans
O’Donnell (right) stunned fellow host Rachel Maddow on Tuesday by reporting that Russian oligarchs had co-signed President Trump’s loans with Deutsche Bank
He teased his news shocker Tuesday night at the end of Rachel Maddow’s hour of programming, inspiring a torrent of anti-Trump tweets that included the hashtag #RussianCosigners – which quickly rose to #2 on Twitter’s ‘trending’ chart in the United States.
O’Donnell had said a single source had told him information that ‘goes a few very important steps beyond’ information that was publicly available about Trump’s lending history with the German bank.
‘The source says that Deutsche Bank is in possession of loan documents that show Donald Trump has obtained loans with co-signers, and that he would not have been able to obtain those loans without co-signers,’ said O’Donnell. ‘The source close to Deutsche Bank says that the co-signers of Donald Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans are Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin.’
O’Donnell cast that apparent blockbuster in a political light after Maddow gasped ‘What? Really?’
‘If true,’ he said, ‘that would explain every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin.’
‘If true, that would be a significant factor in Vladimir Putin’s publicly stated preference for presidential candidate Donald Trump over presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,’ O’Donnell added.
The host of ‘The Last Word’ teased his revelation with a tweet that quickly went viral. But he was hedging by the end of his hour-long program.
‘Now, I want to stress, that’s a single source,’ he said. ‘This has not been confirmed by NBC News. I have not seen any documentation from Deutsche Bank that supports this and verifies this. This is just a single source who has revealed that to me. And that’s where that stands at this point. It’s going to need a lot more verification before that can be a confirmable fact.’
MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ producers were under pressure by early Wednesday morning to confirm or disprove O’Donnell’s story. Nearly two hours into the broadcast, booking producer Michael Del Moro conceded on Twitter that the lone source hadn’t seen any loan paperwork.
‘Deutsche Bank is declining to comment on Lawrence O’Donnell’s reporting that Russian oligarch’s [sic] co-signed Trump’s loans,’ Del Moro wrote.
‘The information came from a single source who has not seen the bank records. NBC has not seen those records and has not yet been able to verify the reporting.’
Trump’s eldest son Don Jr. tweeted an accusation that O’Donnell ‘totally fabricated’ the story
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted sarcastically that the network’s inability to confirm O’Donnell’s report is ‘likely because he totally fabricated it.’
Trump’s attorney, Charles Harder, wrote to MSNBC executives on Wednesday, complaining about ‘false and defamatory statements.’
Harder wrote that there are no co-signers on Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans.
‘The only borrowers under these loans are Trump entities, and Mr. Trump is the only guarantor,’ he declared. ‘Numerous documents for each of these loans are also recorded, publicly available and searchable online.’
‘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.’
‘Actual malice’ is a legal standard that applies to public figures who want to argue that they have been libeled or slandered. It requires proving that a defendant was reckless and published a lie despite knowing, or being expected to know, that it was false.