Rachel Maddow set off a firestorm on Tuesday evening after announcing on Twitter that she had President Donald Trump’s 1040 tax return. Shortly after, Maddow tweeted what could only be expected from an MSNBC host – the tax year she obtained is 11 years old. However, while the 2005 tax return is over a decade old, it’s the newest tax return the American public has had a chance to look at beyond the leaked pages from 1995.
David Clay Johnston, an investigative journalist with dcreport.org, gave the information to Maddow. His site crashed immediately after Maddow mentioned them on the air – but the finding had already been released on sites like The Daily Beast and Wall Street Journal.
Maddow went after the “under audit” excuse candidate Trump used during the 2016 campaign. She remains scandalized that Trump, while not being legally compelled to do so, did not follow the precedent of decades of presidential candidates and release his taxes.
Maddow went on to speculate over Trump’s purchase of a Florida mansion at a bankruptcy auction for $40 million and subsequent sale to “Russia oligarch” Dmitry Rybolovlev, for $95 million.
And of course, there was plenty of talk about short-lived former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s relationship with the Russians – and Turks – which ultimately led to his resignation last month.
Maddow went into full conspiracy theory mode, claiming that it’s super suspicious that Trump’s and Rybolovlev’s yachts have been seen docked closer together recently.
GASP! Not the yachts!
Maddow and David Cay Johnston insist that Donald Trump is “desperate” to hide what he’s hiding in his taxes. Whether that is true or not, it is irrelevant to the fact that Trump won the election. He’s now the President of the United States. The American people elected someone who wouldn’t release his tax returns over Hillary “It’s My Turn” Clinton.
Ultimately, if Trump had been doing something illegal it would’ve meant trouble for the president long ago. The speculation over the appearance that maybe, possibly, perhaps something is fishy is ludicrous and irresponsible.
What was missing from Maddow’s coverage was a simple comparison of Trump’s tax payment compared to the two most popular Democrats in America. While Trump paid 25 percent of his income in taxes, President Obama paid just 18 percent, and Bernie Sanders 13 percent.
One could ask where all this investigative passion was during the last nine years, but we all know the answer to that.
About the Author
Andrea Ruth is a writer for RedState and sandstormscholar.com.