Early this morning President Donald Trump wrote a tweet aimed at NBC and news anchor Rachel Maddow. Maddow tweeted yesterday that she had Trump’s tax returns, which she would reveal on her show.
After making viewers wait twenty minutes, during which she speculated about what Trump’s full, unredacted tax returns might reveal, Maddow finally revealed what she had: two pages from a single, ten-year-old document. This wasn’t quite the groundbreaking scoop Maddow promised, but it did reveal some interesting details.
The pages revealed that in 2005 Trump earned $150 million, and paid $38 million dollars in federal taxes. This will probably end speculation that the president hasn’t paid any taxes since 1995.
The tax forms in question were received by journalist David Cay Johnston, who claims he received them in his mailbox one day. Johnston said it was “entirely possible that Donald sent this to me.” He continued:
Donald Trump has over the tears leaked all sorts of things, Donald has a long history of leaking material about himself when he thinks it’s in his interest.
Even if this is true, this didn’t stop Trump from issuing an angry tweet this morning directed at the show:
Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, "went to his mailbox" and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
It’s particularly ironic that the president got angry about what has been widely perceived by journalists as a bit of a non-story – a story that actually proves the President pays taxes. Trump clearly has no self-control or a sense of reality.
What’s even better, is that the White House confirmed the documents on Maddow’s show were legitimate before the show aired, meaning that Trump just called the White House’s press releases “fake news.” Nice one, Donnie.
Rachel Maddow’s television program has been enjoying record ratings in recent weeks thanks to the news anchor’s no-nonsense approach to discussing corruption in the Trump administration.
Last week the show achieved a ratings milestone when it beat Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly and Tucker Carlson. This recent episode will no doubt entice viewers to tune in more often, however in the future Maddow will likely have to deliver better scoops, or at least stop using sensationalist tweets to gain favorable ratings.
David Cay Johnston also reacted to Trump’s tweet:
Gee, Donald, your White House confirmed my story. POTUS fake Tweet. Sad! https://t.co/ibK2ApKI9E
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) March 15, 2017
There is speculation that these Trump Tax Returns are a distraction from the appalling Trumpcare bill, which has suffered a bi-partisan savaging for its attempts to give tax cuts to the rich while charging older Americans more for healthcare and causing millions of others to lose health insurance altogether.
At this point, one has to wonder whether these Twitter tantrums are just part of Trump’s act. Surely he can’t be angry that a journalist confirmed that he does pay taxes? Either that, or he is being consistently fed misinformation by his aides or his preferred cable news networks.