Rachel Maddow has a history of claiming big scoops which then flop.

There was the debunked 2012 big scoop about supposed GOP wrongdoing in Michigan. And the 2014 big scoop that the Koch Brothers were behind Florida groups pushing drug testing for welfare recipients, which was not true. We covered the Florida non-scoop big scoop, Rachel Maddow’s come undone with Koch Derangement Syndrome.

Tonight Maddow claimed to have Donald Trump’s tax returns. The internet lit up.


The interest was stoked when the person who obtained the “tax returns” and was to appear on Maddow’s show tweeted out as similar message:


But very quickly, tax returns (plural) turned into Form 1040 from 2005.


The White House pushed back even before airtime:

The White House says President Donald Trump made more than $150 million in income in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year.

The acknowledgement comes as MSNBC host Rachel Maddow says she has obtained part of Trump’s 2005 tax forms.

The White House is pushing back pre-emptively, saying that publishing those returns would be illegal.

It says, “You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.”


As to any revelations in the tax return that hurts Trump? Maddow didn’t bring the goods. She started off by stalling on a 15 minute monologue that revealed zero about the returns, giving rise to much mockery:

As she was stalling, her secret source and guest published the information on his own website, which The Daily Beast then posted before Maddow made the reveal:

Donald Trump earned more than $150 million in the year 2005—and paid just a small percentage of that in regular federal income taxes. Daily Beast contributor David Cay Johnston has obtained what appear to be the first two pages of Trump’s 2005 federal income tax return, and published an analysis of those pages on his website, DCReport.org. The Daily Beast could not independently verify these documents.
The documents show Trump and his wife Melania paying $5.3 million in regular federal income tax—a rate of less than 4% However, the Trumps paid an additional $31 million in the so-called “alternative minimum tax,” or AMT. Trump has previously called for the elimination of this tax….

Trump’s 2005 return also shows that he’d continued to benefit from the roughly $916 million loss he reported in his 1995 return—published last year by The New York Times. Using a loophole Congress closed in 1996, Trump converted that loss into a tax credit for the same amount he could offset against income.

Tucker Carlson also reported on the story as Maddow was stalling:

So there was no there there.

If anything, Maddow helped Trump by showing the paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million of income. Hardly the narrative the Democrats like.

Just another embarrassing performance.


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