Unless you turned off your phone, computer and television Tuesday night in order to enjoy some quiet time with your thoughts, you have already heard that Rachel Maddow tweeted that she would be revealing Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return courtesy of the two pages of a Form 1040 that were mailed to Daily Beast reporter David Cay Johnston.
Before Maddow could bring the funk, the White House decided to publish the two pages of the tax return while simultaneously decrying Maddow and journalists in general who would dare to break such news, calling out the “dishonest media” and saying that stealing and publishing the tax return was illegal.
The White House then outlined the contents of the return, which revealed that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on a reported income of $150 million.
Maddow had Johnston on her MSNBC show so that he could explain what was shown in the return. Johnston noted that Donald and Melania Trump paid the same percentage of their income in taxes that he and his wife did, except the Johnstons made $400,000 a year and the Trumps made $418,000 a day.
Because the White House beat Maddow to the punch, it took some of the zing out of her breaking news, but not the bite. Maddow just upped the ante. It doesn’t matter if we really didn’t learn anything from the “leaked” tax returns Think of the bigger picture:
As the White House rushed to push out those tax forms before Maddow could, did anyone think that Trump had just proved there was no reason on earth for him to release the rest of his taxes? What exactly is he hiding?
There are, of course, more questions.
The tax document shown on air is stamped “Client Copy.” Anyone with a client copy of a tax return obviously has access to the remaining pages of the tax return, so why show just those two?
Johnston surmised that perhaps Trump had leaked the document himself, which is entirely possible, because he is mired in so much shit right now, his spin doctors could use the smoke screen while they come up with the next lie.
Also, is Trump hiding his taxes because they might reveal that he is not as financially solvent as he claims to be? What is going on here?
Only time will tell, but I’m sure White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Trump will both be online, on Twitter and on camera trying to explain this away by Wednesday morning.