Rachel Maddow sent out a tweet on Tuesday with the cryptic line, “We’ve got Trump tax returns.”
The tease suggested that her show obtained or got access to the returns, which President Trump has so far declined to release. She later tweeted that the returns were from 2005.
BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 14, 2017
What we've got is from 2005… the President's 1040 form… details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 15, 2017
The White House put out a statement before the show, saying, “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. Before being elected President, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.”
The statement said that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on income of more than $150 million.
Lawrence O’Donnell, whose show follows Maddow’s, said that she would guest on his program.
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) March 14, 2017
David Cay Johnston, an author and investigative reporter who wrote the book “The Making of Donald Trump,” also tweeted that he would be a guest on the show.
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) March 15, 2017
Trump’s tax returns were an issue throughout the 2016 campaign, as he broke with precedent and refused to disclose his returns as other presidential nominees had done. It’s led to speculation — among rivals and in the media — that Trump has something to hide.
Maddow, whose show has gotten a significant bounce in the ratings since Trump took office, has focused in particular on Trump and his associates ties to Russia.
During the fall campaign, The New York Times obtained some of Trump’s 1995 tax records, showing that he “declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.”