The Daily Beast scoops Rachel Maddow on Trump tax returns
The Rachel Maddow Show had a major scoop for its Tuesday night program courtesy of Pulitzer prize-winning tax journalist David Cay Johnston: Donald Trump’s 2005 1040 form, aka a real-deal tax return from 11 years ago. Maddow tweeted about the scoop an hour and a half before her show and Twitter went wild with legitimate excitement, sarcasm, and skepticism, as the Wall Street Journal had already published a report on Trump’s 2005 return in March, but that shit’s paywalled so apparently no one noticed.
Even before her show began, the White House issued a batshit statement confirming that Trump made $150 million in 2005 and paid about $38 million in taxes while also calling the return’s release illegal. It isn’t, and Trump’s panic certainly bolsters its legitimacy to a certain extent.
Maddow’s slow burn style of broadcast journalism is a hit for her fans but may have worked against her in terms of building up to the big reveal. She spent 24 minutes discussing everything from giant chicken balloons mocking the Donald to freaking out about Preet Bharara’s firing–just enough time for the Daily Beast to say fuck this shit and release a report themselves.
It’s worth noting that Johnston is a Daily Beast contributor, though he posted the returns in full on his dcreport.org website, whose servers have been down since the forms went live. When the Maddow team finally decided to put that shit up for themselves, their servers went down as well.
Here’s the nitty-gritty on Trump’s taxes: He paid $5.3 million in regular federal income taxes and $31 million to an alternative minimum tax, all while continuing to benefit from the $916 million deficit he incurred in 1995. The documents span two pages and were handed over by an anonymous source.