Rachel Maddow’s Trump Tax Reveal: Some Numbers, Much Hype

Donald Trump Taxes Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow revealed portions of a 2005 tax return from President Trump on Tuesday, in a moment that drew much of the political world’s attention and anticipation, but still left lingering questions.

The two pages of the return showed that Trump and his wife Melania paid $5.3 million in income taxes and $31 million in the “alternative minimum tax” on income of more than $150 million. It included a $105 million writedown on losses.

The two pages of the return actually were first published on David Cay Johnston’s DCReport.org before they were revealed on Maddow’s show. Johnston, a veteran investigative reporter, obtained the tax returns when they showed up in his mailbox, he said. He then brought the story to Maddow’s show.


rachel maddow

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“This describes the types of income, but not the sources,” Johnston said on Maddow’s show.

The revelation was expected to give Maddow’s show a ratings spike, after she already has enjoyed higher viewership since Trump took office. But given the buildup in the hour or so before the Tuesday broadcast, her scoop was a bit overhyped.

Maddow herself opened her show suggesting that that the documents they had were just a start  to perhaps more revelations later, and she devoted the opening segment of her show to running through many of the stories she has featured in recent weeks, including Trump and his associates ties to Russian officials.

The information from the 2005 returns contained no such revelation. The White House, aware that the report was coming, even disclosed figures from the documents about a half-hour before Maddow’s show started.

“It is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the president will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans,” the White House said in a statement.

Maddow, however, said that “for the record, the First Amendment gives us the right to publish the return.”

The bigger intrigue may be in who leaked the two pages, which were labeled “client copy.” Johnston didn’t discount that Trump, or one of his associates, may have leaked the documents.

“It could have been leaked by someone in his own direction,” he said, as Twitter ran the gamut of theories that Trump may be intent on distracting from the negative attention to Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

For their part, rival CNN reported on the revelation of Trump’s tax returns, but it was only one story among others on Tuesday evening, including a report that the proposed healthcare bill was in for some revisions.

Trump declined to release his tax returns during the presidential campaign, breaking with the precedent extending to the early 1970s in which presidential nominees disclose those forms. Rivals tried to make an issue out of it during debates, but Trump claimed that he could not disclose them because he was under audit.

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  1. Me says:

    Rachel Maddow – just stared in her own show… “Much ado ’bout nothin”

    WHOP! Here it is… Wha… Where it go???

    She be gettin a Globe Award for her performance as “Biggest Looser of 2017”.

    Yo’ way to go girl, U shine baby!

  2. axzl says:

    More effort by the mainstream media to “normalize” the vile filth that is in the White House. The IRS says Drumpf is free to release his tax returns. It is another of his, and Variety’s lies that he cannot.
    Plus, is 2005 not one of the years that he supposedly paid NO income tax because he had a huge writeoff of a billion dollars? A little journalism would go a long way here.

  3. J.K. says:

    Quite possible Trump anonymously sent these 2 pages out of sheer ego to show his year of making big bucks, paying some taxes (at the same time taking a huge deduction.). What he might not have considered is that the 2 abbreviated pages of disclosure have certainly wetted appetites. So Maddow’s strategy is brilliant. Be the first to go public with a ‘taste’ of Trump tax returns to incite others to now really go after him. Yes, she is quite brilliant.

  4. Epic fail. Last time I saw this self driven failure was when Jeraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s storage locker. This is way worse, because this crazy unhinged whacko actually made Mr. Trump look good. Anyone who paid out 38 million in taxes, in 2005 in a down economy has got to be doing something right. I imagine Maddow is on a suicide watch. so sad.

  5. Mary says:

    She’s uncomfortable to watch. And she’s mean. Don’t know how she has a show. But if you like that sort of thing. Creepy.

    • cadavra says:

      Clearly you’ve never watched the show, because her hallmark is “not being mean.” As for creepy, you clearly prefer O’Reilly, a well-known sexual deviate who harasses the help and threw his wife down a flight of stairs after having a detective follow her.

  6. JD says:

    Rachel has always been very unlikable. Always has to be the smartest guy in the room

  7. Occultology says:

    Rachel Maddow just Made Donald Trump Great Again!

  8. Jeff says:

    I’d rather get my news from Rachel than suffer through Hannity insanity or Lou Dobbs’ fake white teeth.

  9. Jeff says:

    Look at most of these comments. There must have been a link on the Breitbart site to this page. Making fun of Dr. Maddow because she’s a lesbian? In 2017? Really?

    It’s obvious those Republican snowflakes are scared to death.

    • Atilla Thehun says:

      No…we’re making fun of Maddow because she’s an idiot. When a story is newsworthy, you run with it. She, instead, went with a non-story. It’s tantamount to fake news – or P T Barnum’s This Way to the Great Egress. Her bias shows through it all. As far as the tax return, dog bites man. No news.

  10. Once again President Trump makes the biased, insane media look exactly as incompetent and asinine as they are…..and have been!! He played Madcow perfectly and made her look the fool once again!

  11. Frank says:

    Every freak in the media thinks they are the chosen. The chosen to be dictating on how the country should be run. Dictating to one of the highest achiever in the entire world and oh he needs the lowlifes nonachievers leaching off of scum gossip and lies, the entire media
    spending 24/7 eatingup any other actual news reporting time to
    attempt to DICTATE how the govn. should be run. They’re idiots. Crank. Crank. Crank. Crank. Crank.
    Shutup. SHUTUP. You stink. PU.

  12. Sct says:

    She’s a weirdo freak.

  13. Fun Fact: The CIA uses watching Maddow as a way to torture prisoners. :-)

  14. JB says:

    Rachel js a very interesting woman(?). She takes her morning shower in a cess-pool and, in view of the stink she spreads, maybe she takes a sip or two in the meanwhile. More power to her !

  15. George Miles says:

    The only thing shocking about this is how all of the MAGA supporters can read beyond a primary school level and know how to use a keyboard.

  16. Poor Madcow’s “revelation”? Trump paid more in taxes, at a higher rate, than any other politician and most everybody else in the nation. That sure is just terrible for Trump…oh…wait…no, it isn’t. Poor Madcow…

  17. Steve Barr says:

    Once again the Trump cockroaches rise from their sleep.

    • Atilla Thehun says:

      A non-news story from Maddow and republicans are the cockroaches. Get yourself over to Dr. Greenspoon ASAP

  18. Bob says:

    She’s a fool just like Whoaldo Rivera on Al Capones vault.

  19. Mike Hambuchen says:

    It is incredible that Maddow, nor her “true believers” cannot see just how stupid this story and their rage is. They hate President Trump so much that they grab any passing straw to distort reality as they paddle away in their cesspool. It entertaining only as it is sad.

  20. Nanny Mo says:

    The Justice Department should look into this. If it is illegal to do this to one American citizen with impunity, then it is a problem for all of us. If this is illegal, the government needs to look into it seriously. Personal law suits and FCC fines if such is warranted.

  21. Silent Velcro says:

    Who’s up for releasing Maddow’s returns??

  22. Kaboom! says:

    America can thank MSNBC and Maddow for exposing how hateful and horrible the liberal left media has become. The commercial advertisers attached to her show should be prepared for a complete boycott of their products. Also, will somebody accidentally leak Maddow’s social security number as freedom of information.

  23. SPIKE says:

    Lane, you might be wasting your time. no one cares what she thinks. she’s obsoleted herself by spewing fake news

  24. Lane says:

    This lunatic has no idea what she is looking at and neither would most Americans.. Who in their right mind cares what is on Trump’s tax returns. Trump is working for free and is doing the work that has been needed for decades; FRAUD Obama did nothing but add tens of thousands of employees who sit around and play games and watch porn. All of them will be gone along with Obama loyalists. The insane federal budget will shrink as a direct result of Trump’s actions to rid fraud, waste and duplication. He works, ignoring these fools who do nothing but criticize his every move to Make American Great again. No matter what these idiots say or do, Trump will prevail. Maddow should move in with Barbra Streisand and they can eat pancakes until they explode.

  25. Crystal Brooks says:

    Why is this news? Who cares about what his taxes were in 2005? One things for sure, he paid a lot of taxes. Someone improperly copied his return and sent it to the journalist. I don’t see how that gives a journalist the right to publish it. Unless Trump gave permission, why would you print it? I work in banking. I would be in trouble if I told or showed people my customers tax returns without consent.

  26. Truth Teller 2 says:

    Trumps people leaked it themselves as a distraction and she fell for it.

  27. SK says:

    Thanks Rachel for doing Donald the service of showing that he made a lot of money and that he paid a decent amount of tax. Without the sources of income, it’s just a corroboration of what he’s been saying. Who’s side are you on???? You are such a little ratings bitch. I swore I was over you after all your smug reporting in the final months of the election, but you got me back with the Russian stuff which is excellent. This latest thing seems like just a cheap ratings grab that does not further any case against Trump.

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