Trump Claims That NBC Forced Lawrence O'Donnell to Apologize for Russia Story

Lawrence O'Donnell - Getty - H 2018
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The president said that the MSNBC host "has been calling me wrong from even before I announced my run for the presidency."

Never one to sit out a cable news controversy, President Donald Trump launched a three-tweet attack on Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday morning, even as the MSNBC host already apologized for a thinly sourced report on his financial activities.

O'Donnell already "retracted" a Tuesday night report, when he said that "Russian oligarchs" co-signed a loan taken by the president. "We don't know whether the information is inaccurate," O'Donnell said Wednesday. "But the fact is, we do know it wasn't ready for broadcast. And for that, I apologize."

Several hours earlier, O'Donnell apologized on Twitter for the report, saying that he "made an error in judgement."

But, the dual apology wasn't enough for the president. He wrote: "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. 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!"

MSNBC has not commented on O'Donnell's report, and there's no evidence the host was "forced" to apologize.

The president then connected the incident to his broader campaign against the mainstream media, which he claims is set out to slime him. "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," he wrote. "So bad for the USA!"

O'Donnell, on his primetime show and in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, is one of Trump's most fervent critics. In June, O'Donnell told THR that Trump watches cable news obsessively because "it's an illiterate man's window on the world."

Trump has previously insulted O'Donnell several times on Twitter. "Dopey @Lawrence O’Donnell, whose unwatchable show is dying in the ratings, said that my Apprentice $ numbers were wrong," he said in July 2015. "He is a fool!"

A month earlier, Trump predicted that O'Donnell's MSNBC show would be canceled, which didn't happen.

Two years earlier, Trump called O'Donnell "the poor man's left wing" Bill O'Reilly, but "with no ratings."