Is Trump's Response to the MSNBC Smear a Turning Point in Media Disinformation?
Lawrence O'Donnell, the most unstable yapper on MSNBC's disinformation network, decided to go all in on a pretty extreme accusation.
"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," O'Donnell said. "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."
"If true, that would explain every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin, if true," he continued. "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."
If true. Very big word. If.
MSNBC booking producer Michael Del Moro tweeted the following morning that not only has O'Donnell never seen the relevant documents, neither has his source.
NBC can't confirm the reporting.
This is typical Maddowesque stuff. And it's a nakedly transparent ratings grab for a struggling disinformation network.
But this time, MSNBC may have gone too far.
The letter from Trump's legal team demands an immediate correction. Accuses NBCU of malice and threatens legal action.
There's one line that stands out. "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."
There's shades of Rathergate here.
But also the "malice" part is important in any such legal action. And MSNBC has provided the Trump team with endless reams of supporting evidence for that.