On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow dropped a bombshell on her Twitter account: She had obtained a copy of President Trump's tax returns and would be talking about them at 9 p.m. ET during The Rachel Maddow Show.
BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC.— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 14, 2017
For months throughout the campaign and the first weeks of the Trump administration, journalists everywhere had unsuccessfully tried to obtain a copy of the president's tax returns. After all, he was the first Republican candidate and the first president that refused to release his returns since President Richard Nixon in the 1970s. This raised a whole lot of questions about his finances and his business relationships. (Specially when it came to his possible links to Russia.)
Throughout the whole ordeal, Trump had been adamant that he wouldn't release these documents, saying he couldn't do so because he was undergoing a federal audit. Still, 60% of Americans believed he had a responsibility to make his returns available to the public.
So naturally, when Maddow announced her program had obtained a copy of Trump's tax returns Twitter users went bonkers. Who cares if they were from 2005! Was this real? After all the months pushing for the Trump campaign and the Trump administration to release POTUS 45's tax returns, was this finally happening?
RACHEL MADDOW: “Come over”— Kevin Dugan (@kvndugan) March 15, 2017
ME: “I can’t, there’s a snow apocalypse going on outside”
RACHEL MADDOW: “I’ve got Trump’s tax returns”
Rachel Maddow got Trump tax returns.— Gilluis Pérez (@Gilluis_Perez) March 15, 2017
Trump Cabinet: pic.twitter.com/xuV6IjUvAM
Me: I'm done with reading anything about Trump, it's mentally and emotionally draining.— Simone (@SimoneRacanelli) March 15, 2017
Rachel Maddow: I have Trump's tax returns.
But once the show started, Maddow took her sweet time teasing viewers. As her monologue kept getting longer and longer, people started to get angsty. When the hell would she show the documents?
Hey boy are you Trump's 2005 tax returns bc everyone said I'd meet you soon but I'm waiting & like where are u & please don't be a let down— Lisa Anne Mokaba (@LMokaba) March 15, 2017
Everyone's watching Rachel Maddow right now like.. pic.twitter.com/SRwZqdFEZw— Eric Spring (@ericleespring) March 15, 2017
New theory: David Cay Johnston is stuck in a taxi in midtown and Maddow is stalling heroically— Laura J. Nelson (@laura_nelson) March 15, 2017
By the time the big reveal finally happened, she showed only two pages of his federal tax return 1040 form. People were understandably underwhelmed and a bit disappointed. Was this all she had?
dammit. 2 pages!? give me the pee video. #teampeevideo— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) March 15, 2017
So now we know...that there's more we need to know...Which we knew already.— Ryan McCarthy (@mccarthyryanj) March 15, 2017
Wait we went through all this to make a case that the rich don't pay enough taxes? We know this to be true.— Lisa Lucas (@likaluca) March 15, 2017
The answer is yes. There wasn't much there. But in the end, Maddow's effort proved something important: Nothing is really stopping the Trump administration from releasing the president's tax returns. Or even journalists from digging further. Now the question is, will they?
This is a really, really good pitch for sending journalists more of Donald Trump's tax returns. She is doing a service, here.— andrea grimes (@andreagrimes) March 15, 2017
By far the most interesting thing we learned tonight was how quickly Trump could release his tax returns if he chose to.— Tim Miller (@Timodc) March 15, 2017
Even if @maddow's report underwhelms, response by Trump camp tonight proves he can, in fact, release his tax returns.— Alheli Picazo (@a_picazo) March 15, 2017
No more excuses.
If there is nothing to hide, release the tax returns, Mr. Trump. It’s simple.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) March 15, 2017
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