Maddow on Trump Tax Scoop Fail: People expected too much

Posted March 18, 2017

Her Trump tax reveal nabbed the network's second biggest audience ever for MSNBC for a regularly scheduled show, behind only the October 29, 2008 episode of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which had averaged 4.2 million total viewers, six days before the 2008 election that put Barack Obama into the White House.

Maddow's show revealed, through reporter David Cay Johnston, two pages of tax return information that showed Trump earned $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year.

Trump's 2005 paid taxes were below the 27.4% that taxpayers earning $1 million dollars a year average were paying that year, according to data from the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. The White House described it as a "large-scale depreciation for construction". His effective rate was close to 25 percent. The Trumps paid relatively little ordinary income tax - $5.3 million - but they did pay $31 million in the alternative minimum tax, which kicks in when people with high incomes use a lot of tax deductions.

The AMT was originally created to prevent rich taxpayers from using excessive loopholes, and Trump has previously called for its elimination.

California joins states challenging Trump's travel ban
He filed a federal lawsuit in Madison in February alleging Trump's first travel ban had stopped the visa process for them. The first ban sparked numerous lawsuits, including the Syrian refugee's initial federal complaint in Wisconsin .

New York Times: "Rachel Maddow Lands a Scoop, Then Makes Viewers Wait". "So I do want to know who sent them, I have no idea".

The president's Tuesday night complaint that Maddow must be "desperate for ratings" - and that the publication of the return was illegal - doesn't hold up.The publication of newsworthy material is not against the law; the president's tax returns, long denied to the public, certainly meet that test. Experts say an IRS audit does not bar someone from releasing the documents. Donald Trump's tax returns have surfaced. To her credit, she also put the crucial subject of Trump's finances squarely back in the national conversation.

"If they can release some of the information, they can release all of the information", Zac Petkanas, a senior adviser to the DNC, said.