NBC News remained silent Thursday morning regarding whether or not MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell will face disciplinary action after being forced to apologize and retract a singled-sourced, unverified report – which bypassed the network's standards – claiming President Trump possibly had loans cosigned by Russian oligarchs.
O’Donnell admitted on Wednesday that he aired information that “wasn’t ready for reporting” and broke NBC News regulations in the process.
“I did not go through the rigorous verification and standards process here at MSNBC before repeating what I heard from my source,” O’Donnell said. “Had it gone through that process, I would not have been permitted to report it. I should not have said it on air or posted it on Twitter. I was wrong to do so.”
O’Donnell then said NBC would retract the story because “it wasn’t ready for broadcast.”
NBC News did not immediately respond when asked if the company stands by O’Donnell and if the host would be disciplined. NBC’s parent company, Comcast, did not immediately respond to the same inquiries.
While NBC and its corporate parent remains silent, President Trump has been quite vocal about the situation.
“Crazy Lawrence O’Donnell, who has been calling me wrong from even before I announced my run for the Presidency, even being previously forced by NBC to apologize, which he did while crying, for things he said about me & The Apprentice, was again forced to apologize, this time ... for the most ridiculous claim of all, that Russia, Russia, Russia, or Russian oligarchs, co-signed loan documents for me, a guarantee,” Trump tweeted.
“Totally false, as is virtually everything else he, and much of the rest of the LameStream Media, has said about me for years. ALL APOLOGIZE!” he continued.
Minutes later, he added: “The totally inaccurate reporting by Lawrence O’Donnell, for which he has been forced by NBC to apologize, is NO DIFFERENT than the horrible, corrupt and fraudulent Fake News that I (and many millions of GREAT supporters) have had to put up with for years. So bad for the USA!”
The retraction and apology came after Trump's legal team sent a harshly worded letter to NBC Wednesday demanding the apology and retraction for “false and defamatory, and extremely damaging” comments made by the MSNBC primetime host. NBC News didn’t respond to a request for comment about the blistering letter prior to the retraction, either.
The fiery letter came shortly after White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham blasted O’Donnell over the story in a statement to Fox News.
“This is one of the reasons that a majority of Americans have lost trust in the media. Instead of applying ethics and standards to their reporting, journalists and left-wing outlets have weaponized the media, using it to attack and harass people with little to no regard for the truth,” Grisham said.
The incident occurred on Tuesday night when O’Donnell and fellow far-left MSNBC host Rachel Maddow were discussing how Trump was “able to obtain loans when no one else would loan him any money” when he tossed out the unverified speculation.
“I may have some information, in this next hour, which would add a great deal to their understanding of that, if true, and I’ll be discussing it here,” O’Donnell said. "I stress ‘if true,’ because this is a single source who has told me that Deutsche Bank obtained tax returns… this single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that Donald Trump’s loan documents there show that he has cosigners. That’s how he was able to obtain those loans and that the cosigners are Russian oligarchs."
A stunned Maddow leaned back in her chair and responded, “What? Really?”
O’Donnell added “that would explain every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin” if his information is accurate.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.