29 March, 2017
In the almost 90 minutes between Maddow's initial tweet and the actual news being pronounced on her show by her star guest, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, the White House itself had gone on the offensive to release the numbers, and the Daily Beast, where Johnston writes a column, had published a story on the same.
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow released two pages of one year's worth of Trump's tax returns this week, showing that Trump paid an effective tax rate of less than 5%.
Trump said "nobody ever heard of" David Cay Johnson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who claimed to have received Trump's tax returns in the post from an unknown source. In addition to the federal income taxes, the statement said, he paid "tens of millions of dollars in other taxes, such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes, and this illegally published return proves just that".
"Conservatives - including the president's son Donald Trump Jr. - crowed that the documents showed Trump paid $38 million on $150 million in revenue, seemingly refuting claims that he dodged taxes".
The statement read: "You know you are desperate for rating when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago".
Alternatively of course this was the most clever double cross Trump has pulled to date to make the media look shrill, by cherry picking a good year of returns and continuing to destabilize the public's trust in the media.
With huge numbers of viewers tuned in because of her earlier tweet that she had obtained President Donald Trump's tax returns, she talked. and talked. and talked. Johnston said the pages were mailed to him anonymously. The exclusive she eventually revealed in the tax returns was little more than the White House had announced before she had gone on the air.
For a few moments MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was in a position that she's unfamiliar with: At the center of the political world.
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Trump has refused to release his full tax returns since he began his quest for the United States presidency, shattering decades of tradition among candidates of all political parties.
"Donald has a long history of leaking information about himself".
"I don't really care", Maddow said.
Maddow obviously had to know that Tweeting out her "BREAKING" news that she possessed a Trump tax return was going to create a firestorm and draw attention.
One possibility? "Anytime Donald went for a mortgage - especially if it was a personal mortgage of any sort", he said, "any type of loan would have required him to disclose his tax returns to the banks".
The document does not show with whom Trump has done business, which, Johnston said, the president probably wants to keep private. In 1995, Trump reported a loss of more than $900 million, largely as a result of financial turmoil at his casinos.
Maddow carried on with her premise, giving more reasons why the 2005 tax return would need to show that level of income and taxes paid.