Last night, Rachel Maddow announced on Twitter that she'd somehow gotten her hands on President Donald Trump's tax returns. With Trump being the first modern president to say that he would not release his tax return, you can probably imagine how excited people got.
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
But the announcement proved somewhat anti-climatic after it was revealed that the return was from 2005, and that Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25%. He also wrote off more than $100 million in business losses.
And of course, Donald Trump responded on Twitter.
The White House responded to the leak prior to Maddow's reveal by quoting the exact figures that Maddow later revealed.
"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," the statement said.
While journalist David Cay Johnston who received the leaked document from an unknown source believes that the White Houses' reaction to the leak indicates that President Donald Trump may have sent the return himself.
“It came in the mail over the transom,” Johnston told Maddow. “There is absolutely nothing improper about journalists — if you haven’t solicited something — getting it over the transom. Let me point out, it’s entirely possible that Donald sent this to me. Donald Trump has, over the years, leaked all sorts of things.”
Donald Trump Jr. live tweeted the reveal, saying that the leak was actually good for his father.
And reactions to the reveal online have been mixed.
Trump 2005 tax rate: 25%— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 15, 2017
Romney 2011 tax rate: 14.1%
Sanders 2014 tax rate: 13.5%
Trump's 2005 two page tax return shows he has something to hide and this is the tip of the iceberg.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) March 15, 2017
Well done Rachel Maddow.
Republicans super upset about Rachel Maddow having Trump's "stolen" tax return, but they're all about giving Putin eyes and ears to nat sec.— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) March 15, 2017
Kellyanne Conway is already prepping for the interview where she claims Rachel Maddow got the tax return directly from her Keurig— Jason Paussa (@JasonSCSM) March 15, 2017
Effective tax rates in 2005:— Cloyd Rivers (@CloydRivers) March 15, 2017
Thanks Rachel Maddow for commitin' a felony for this info. Merica.
Spicer: Mr. President, they have your tax return.— Greg Miller (@GameOverGreggy) March 15, 2017
::Trump slams fist on desk, looks out window::
Trump: Leak the Matrix reboot news.
LOL RACHEL MADDOW JUST TRICKED US INTO HAVING A SLIGHTLY BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE US TAX SYSTEM— Alex Blagg (@alexblagg) March 15, 2017
Ultimately, the document was old enough that we didn't really learn all that much. And it does seem odd that such a favorable document would find its way to a reporter. If the leaker had malicious intentions, they probably could have found more incriminating documents.