The AP and Boston Globe are reporting that the White House has confirmed Rachel Maddow has a genuine copy of President Trump’s 2005 tax return. And to make it more interesting, the journalist who received the anonymously mailed pages mused that Trump himself could be the source.
Maddow’s big “scoop” is a few pages from over 10 years ago. Big stinking deal, except that the poorly-rated MSNBC host got a 30-minute boost by teasing the documents.
BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 14, 2017
The White House responded in typical fashion (was that written by Trump himself?). “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,” the statement read. It continued, “it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns.”
— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) March 15, 2017
But it was really investigative journalist David Cay Johnston who got the scoop.
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) March 15, 2017
On Maddow’s show, Johnston speculated that Trump himself might have leaked his own tax return.
Johnston, a 2001 Pulitzer-winning veteran investigative reporter specializing in tax and finance issues, said he didn’t know where the pages had come from. He said it was possible that Trump himself had sent the documents, saying the president has a history of leaking materials to journalists.
“Donald creates his own reality. … He doesn’t live in the world that you and I live in, a world of verified facts,” Johnston said on the show.
I wouldn’t put it past Trump to leak his own tax returns from a decade ago. But this whole thing is a nothingburger with cheese. It’s a distraction, which makes it even more likely it came from Trump. But on the other hand, it makes no sense at all.
Just another stop on the mysterious mystery tour of Trump nonsense. As long as Obamacare is repealed and the administrative state is dismantled, MSNBC can have all the scoops they want.