Lawrence O'Donnell at a New York City event in 2018. Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Hospital for Special Surgery

MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell apologized on his "Last Word" show Wednesday night as he retracted an unverified report that directly tied President Trump's finances to Russia, which aired the previous night.

The big picture: After Deutsche Bank said in response to a court order Tuesday that it has tax returns House Democrats are seeking in subpoenas for financial details on Trump and his family, O'Donnell claimed on his show that a single source told him the bank's documents showed Russian oligarchs had co-signed a loan application for Trump.

  • Trump's lawyers wrote to NBC Wednesday to demand a retraction, correction and apology for him what they called a "false and defamatory" statement, per Washington Post journalist Paul Farhi.
  • The president's son Eric Trump said in response to O'Donnell's statement on the story on Twitter that the Trump Organization would take legal action.

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Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

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President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.

Liberty University's Jerry Falwell Jr. agrees to “indefinite leave of absence”

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. in 2019. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jerry Falwell Jr. will take an “indefinite leave of absence” from his roles as president and chancellor of Liberty University after posting a photo of himself with unzipped pants and an arm around a woman on social media, according to the school.

The state of play: The picture, which has since been deleted, drew backlash and charges of hypocrisy from conservative political figures because the university's honor code strictly prohibits students from having "sexual relations outside of a biblically-ordained marriage," and recommends they dress with“appropriateness” and “modesty."