Lawrence O'Donnell Slams Trump Over 'Evil Lie' About Losing 'Hundreds' of Friends on 9/11

Lawrence O'Donnell has lashed out at president Donald Trump, accusing the Republican of lying about how many friends he lost in the 9/11 attacks.

The MSNBC host claimed the president had told an "evil lie" when he claimed during the 2016 presidential election race that he had lost "hundreds" of friends in the twin towers, changing that figure to "many, many people" in an appearance on Meet the Press just one day later.

"As soon as Trump said that in the campaign debate in South Carolina that he lost hundreds of friends on 9/11, I said that he was lying," O'Donnell said on Tuesday night. "I didn't know how many friends he lost on 9/11 but I knew it wasn't hundreds."

"Knowing the way Donald Trump lies as I do, I suspected then that the real number was zero, and then I checked, and the real number was zero. Donald Trump did not attend a single 9/11 funeral, not one," he added.

O'Donnell explained he believed Trump was lying because he had stopped repeating the statement, also saying on the show that he didn't believe the president had felt any grief over the attacks.

"There has been much debate in the news media about how do you know when a Trump lie is a lie and not just a falsehood," he said. "One way of knowing is that he stops saying it. And when I held that lie up to Donald Trump's face, even he could see how evil that lie was. And even Donald Trump knew he could never try to tell that lie again."

The president attended a service in Pennsylvania on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of the attacks at the memorial of the downing of United Airlines Flight 93.

"America's future is not written by our enemies. America's future is written by our heroes," the BBC reported Trump saying in Shanksville.

"As long as this monument stands, as long as this memorial endures, brave patriots will rise up in America's hours of need and they, too, will fight back," he added.

However, his appearance in Pennsylvania was also criticized by O'Donnell, who laid into the president for his behavior as he exited from Air Force One—fist-pumping while walking the tarmac.

"It wasn't grief that the president felt today when he got off Air Force One in Pennsylvania to attend the 9/11 commemoration of Flight 93 that takes place there every year. There is only one president in our history who could arrive at such a solemn and tragic commemoration and behave as if he was arriving at a rally," O'Donnell said.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.