11:19 GMT29 September 2020
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    MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell appeared to walk back claims made on Tuesday about having damning insider information about US President Donald Trump's business dealings with Deutsche Bank.

    "Last night I made an error in judgment by reporting an item about the president’s finances that didn’t go through our rigorous verification and standards process," O'Donnell tweeted Wednesday afternoon. "I shouldn’t have reported it and I was wrong to discuss it on the air. I will address the issue on my show tonight."

    ​On Tuesday, O'Donnell tweeted that "a source close to Deutsche Bank" had divulged to him damning information about Trump's tax returns, which the US House Intelligence and Financial Services committees issued subpoenas for in April and which the bank announced earlier this week it was preparing to deliver.

    "A source close to Deutsche Bank says Trump’s tax returns show he pays very little income tax and, more importantly, that his loans have Russian co-signers," O'Donnell tweeted, indicating he would discuss the story on his show, "The Last Word," that evening. "If true, that explains every kind word Trump has ever said about Russia and Putin."

    Critics were quick to pick up on the numerous tenuous assertions, including that the source is ostensibly not with the bank in question and that having "Russian co-signers" would somehow muzzle the president with regards to criticizing Russia or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    However, during his show that evening, the host was forced to "stress that is a single source, that 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."

    Trump sued Deutsche Bank earlier this year to try and block the release of his financial information. Throughout his election campaign and presidency, the real estate mogul has adamantly refused to make public his tax returns, a common practice for aspiring and sitting heads of state.

    MSNBC has repeatedly come under fire for its single-minded focus on the Russiagate narrative. Last month, Krystal Ball, now with The Hill but once the host of "The Cycle" on MSNBC, blasted her former network in a video, asking, “Just how much damage has MSNBC in particular done to the left?”

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    Tags:
    unsubstantiated claims, tax returns, Deutsche Bank, Russia, Donald Trump, MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell
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