So here is a brief summary of what was broadcast from The Rachel Maddow show last night:
- Trump paid 38 million dollars in taxes in 2005.
- Took write down of 103 million.
- Made more than 150 million.
- MSNBC sent the form over to White House and they responded that yes it is real.
- Rachel says it is not illegal to share based upon the first amendment.
- Journalist who recovered it is David Cay Johnston, who says it turned up in his mailbox.
- Johnston mentions Trump himself may have leaked it, however no hard evidence.
- The pages leaked are incomplete and do not provide whole financial picture.
- Trump paid effective tax rate of 24%, which is the same as married couples in America. Usually the top pay ~36% during that time and ~39% this year.
- Incomplete returns do not reveal sources of income.
Some on the internet compared this to Geraldo Rivera's "Al Capone's Vault" stunt, but it was not on that level despite that fact that it was a little over hyped.
It seems that currently most people are of the opinion that Trump himself leaked this since the form that Johnston received is stamped "Client Copy."
That is certainly possible, even though the White House is acting like they are the injured party.
(Actually as Rachel noted this did NOT violate the law.)WH responds to MSNBC report on Trump tax returns: "you know you are desperate when you willing to violate the law..." pic.twitter.com/DCedFdxWCc— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 15, 2017
It also should be noted that the White House took the highly unusual step of attempting to sabotage Rachel's exclusive by releasing the copy of the tax return themselves.
Which of course makes their charge of illegality even more ridiculous because how could the journalists be breaking the law by reporting on a document that they themselves just released?
All in all it was interesting, but certainly not groundbreaking.Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, "went to his mailbox" and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
However it IS more information that we have not had before, and as was mentioned on the show there are other copies of Trump's tax returns floating around out there, so if somebody wants to contribute to a REAL explosive story on this topic they certainly know what to do.
I have the feeling that this 2005 tax return may have been one of the few that showed Trump as a responsible tax paying citizen. I bet there are many others that would be devastating to his reputation as a billionaire and which might demonstrate some rather incriminating ties to unsavory business associates.