Liberals, Media Blame Trump for Maddow Tax Meltdown
Furious detractors say White House must have been behind leak that embarrassed MSNBC
In an epic meltdown on live television Tuesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow teased an ostensibly shocking revelation about President Donald Trump’s tax returns — only to go on to reveal a single 1040 form from 2005 which revealed the then-mogul made a lot of money and paid the correct amount in taxes.
“BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC (Seriously),” Maddow tweeted.
“I love Rachel Maddow but she was played.”
The tweet sent shockwaves across social media and the political world. Here, finally, would be proof of Trump’s misdeeds and dishonesty. So excited were many members of the elite media and Democrats for the great reveal many missed it when the White House quietly released the document before Maddow went on air.
When Maddow finally began, she launched into 20 minutes of mostly monologue peppered by commercials and the mockery began almost immediately.
“More than a million people have signed a petition demanding that Rachel Maddow release Trump’s tax returns,” New York Times reporter Nate Cohn tweeted sarcastically around 9:15 p.m.
But when Maddow did finally get around to her teased, big reveal, it turned out to be anything but explosive. The ostensibly groundbreaking news? In 2005, Donald Trump paid $36.5 million in taxes on an income of roughly $150 million — a significantly higher federal income tax rate than paid by either Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or President Obama that year.
Liberals hadn't been so disappointed since Nov. 9, 2016.
"Maddow promised to pull a sordid revelation out of a hat and instead plucked out … Trump's credibility?" wrote Willa Paskin for Slate.
"In positioning it as a grand revelation, a vital step in comprehending Trump's corruption, MSNBC created an exceedingly cynical spectacle. By playing into the network's loyal liberal audience's fantasy that there exists a Trump silver bullet, it instead delivered Trump a positive news cycle—the guy pays taxes!" Paskin wrote.
But never fear! Maddow's liberal defenders were quick to the rescue, ready to explain to America that Maddow's anti-climactic revelation was in fact proof of Trump's nefariousness.
"I love Rachel Maddow but she was played. DT's incomplete 2005 tax return distracts from a disastrous healthcare bill & Russia. #TrumpRussia," tweeted Hollywood director Rob Reiner.
"This one tax return is not bad for him because he cherry picked one return from over a decade ago and had it leaked to the press," tweeted fellow MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough.
"The Trump camp released one positive tax return to distract from Russia hearings and the Trumpcare meltdown. That's painfully obvious," Scarborough continued in another tweet.
Is it possible that the Trump team leaked the tax return in an effort to embarrass the left-wing media? It's possible but there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that is the case — the White House even went so far as to call the leak "illegal" in a statement before Maddow's show.
What is provable is that Trump paid a significantly high income tax in 2005, and mainstream media liberals now wish to distract the public from that information by suggesting it was a Trump trick.
"The only news out of this is that the White House CAN release the President's taxes, despite what campaign said," tweeted Democratic operative Mo Elleithee. "Which we all suspected."
Some however, weren't convinced. "The CIA hacked Podesta and pinned it on Russia who leaked the tax return to get Trump out of this health care thing," tweeted Buzzfeed's Katherine Miller.