On Tuesday evening, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow announced via Twitter that her show had gotten a hold of “Trump tax returns,” teasing viewers with the possibility that President Trump’s long-awaited tax returns would finally be released to the public during that night’s episode of “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
“BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously),” Maddow tweeted.
However, within an hour, the news host clarified her tweet, making it known that the show had obtained some of the president’s tax documents from 2005, saying, “What we’ve got is from 2005… the President’s 1040 form… details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC.”
The White House was quick to respond just before Maddow’s show aired, calling her push “desperate” and blaming the “dishonest media” for attempting to increase ratings by continuing to “make this part of their agenda.” The Trump White House even accused Maddow of violating the law, claiming that “it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns.” The full statement, as provided to multiple media outlets, reads:
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. That being said, Mr. Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that. Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, 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.