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Trump-O'Donnell Bet Off, MSNBC Host Backtracks on 'Apprentice' Pay

Image: Trump-O'Donnell Bet Off, MSNBC Host Backtracks on 'Apprentice' Pay
(Ben Gabbe/Getty Images; Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 17 Jul 2015 08:48 AM

Donald Trump's challenge to MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell is off, after the pundit admitted on his show Thursday night that he likes the candidate and that he may have been "wrong" when he accused him of lying about the money he earned for his reality show.

"I'm very disappointed," Trump told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Friday. "I was really all set to go after him this morning. And now I feel guilty if I do that. I feel very, very guilty."

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On Thursday's "Morning Joe" show, Trump called to bet O'Donnell his "Apprentice" salary if the "Last Word" host could prove, as he claimed, that Trump had exaggerated the nearly $213 million he listed in his campaign disclosure statement as having earned over the show's 14 seasons.

Just before that, O'Donnell and "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough had a heated argument about the issue, with O'Donnell continuing his arguments on Twitter after leaving the live program.

But by Thursday night, O'Donnell was ready to step back, and said on his own show that Trump has often treated him very well.

"Just three months ago. Donald was making his grand entrance in the ballroom of the White House Correspondents Dinner and I was sitting alone at a table minding my own business. He spotted me, called my name and what he — watch what he did — he stretches out his hand for a handshake," O'Donnell said, showing a film clip.

"He does that to a guy who savaged him four years ago when he was talking about running for president. I bothered him so much back then he threatened to sue me, but he didn't care about that when he saw me. He just wanted to shake my hand and wish me well ... in that moment, Donald was a bigger man than I was and I liked him for that."

He said Trump also reached out to him a year ago, upon his return to his show after a long hospital stay following a car accident.

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O'Donnell said he got "hung up" about the money Trump earned, but, "where I come from, no one settled disagreements with bets because no one had money to bet. So no, Donald there won't be any bet because I would never bet about anything. I just don't bet, period."

Also, he said, he doesn't want to be the topic of a story about Trump, as he wants to cover Trump's campaign. And, what's more, "I might be wrong. I have never said I know exactly how much Donald Trump made for the entire series. I don't know. I have made semi-educated guesses about it and I don't care very much about it. I don't really care."

O'Donnell also apologized to journalist April Ryan, who had joined the panel to discuss the question she had posed to President Barack Obama the day before about the rape allegations against comedian Bill Cosby.

"I am really sorry that I wasted the time that should have been focused on what April Ryan had to say," O'Donnell said. He then replayed Ryan's statement from the "Morning Joe" show.

After the "Morning Joe" show played the O'Donnell clip for Trump, the real estate magnate, who is leading the GOP presidential campaign field in several national polls, joked that he was ready to "say lots of nasty things about him. It's hard to do that now. Joe, you really ruined my morning, to be honest."

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Donald Trump's challenge to MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell is off, after the pundit admitted on his show Thursday night that he likes the candidate and that he may have been "wrong" when he accused him of lying about the money he earned for his reality show.
trump, lawrence odonnell, apprentice, pay, bet
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2015-48-17
Friday, 17 Jul 2015 08:48 AM
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