Did Trump leak his own tax return to make himself look good?

In conjunction with Tuesday night’s snoozer of a big reveal, the White House wasted no time in putting out a statement that amounted to, “this tax return was illegally obtained and published, but isn’t it totally great? You should count yourselves lucky you get to gaze upon it.” This has led some (self included) to suspect that Trump or one of his alter egos leaked the document himself as both a deflection of concerns about his finances, and a distraction from his abortion of a healthcare bill.

David Cay Johnston, the journalist who published the document, admitted on “The Rachel Maddow Show” that Trump himself might have been the one who sent the two-page 1040 from 2005 anonymously to him. “By the way, let me point out that it’s entirely possible that Donald Trump sent this to me,” Johnston said. “Donald Trump has, over the years, leaked all sorts of things.” Better publish it anyway, though, just to be on the safe side.

The second page of the documents are stamped “client copy,” which kind of makes it look kind of like this was the copy Trump brought home with him from his CPA. And have I mentioned how proud everyone in Trump’s corner is of this single tax form from 10 years ago? Why, it’s almost like he cherry-picked a form from the one year he 1.) made money, 2.) paid taxes, and 3.) didn’t borrow from Russia and held it up as a shining example that there is nothing to see here.

And while he benefitted from a $916 million loss he sustained in 1995, the fact that he paid anywhere near a normal (for America) tax rate of 24% seems to fly in the face of his highly dubious campaign trail boast that he pays less in taxes than he should because “I’m smart.” (Just to put “normal” in perspective, if you made $30,000 in 2005 you paid 25%. Fuck you, rich people.)

Given all of this, it seems the “liberal media” played right into Trump’s hands, hyping a non-story that distracted from the CBO-condemned ACHA and made him look like a normal rich guy on paper. The next time Maddow claims to have something on Trump, it had better be the stuff that’s “under audit.”

Satisfied with his victory over a bunch of people who are supposed to be smarter than him, our baby boy president moved onto tweeting about Snoop Dogg. It seems Johnston and Maddow would have hurt him much more had they simply shot a him with a cartoon word-gun. 

[photo: Getty]