Rachel Maddow took a lot of criticism for releasing the details of Trump’s 2005 tax returns on her MSNBC show. Many people felt that she drummed up excitement over the returns for ratings knowing that the returns proved nothing other than that Trump paid a fair percentage of taxes.
Trump especially was critical of Maddow’s reporting. Although the White House confirmed that the tax returns were real, Trump still called the report “fake news” and implied that the man who received the returns in the mail obtained them using illegal methods.
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
Rachel Maddow appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to explain why those viewers who tuned in to see the reporting on the tax returns were excited at the prospect of learning what was in them.
‘I think the reason people were so excited is because it’s really weird that the president hasn’t released his financial information. It’s really odd, and there’s reasons to worry about it. So when we found out that we had one, it was like speaking to a group of people dying of thirst in the desert and we were like, ‘Behold, we have found a drop.’ ‘A drop? You have a drop!?’
Maddow also said that the president’s criticism was misguided and that reporting on the returns was not in any way illegal. In fact, that reporting is constitutionally protected. As for how the returns were obtained by the reporter who shared them with MSNBC, David Cay Johnston, there is much speculation as to who might have sent them to him.
Maddow, Johnston, and even MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough from Morning Joe believe Trump may have sent them himself.
Scarborough tweeted that the president sent them to Johnston to distract from the focus on the Trump campaigns Russian connection, and Maddow explained on Fallon’s show that Trump was the only one capable of easily obtaining the documents and release them to news reporters without any personal risk to himself.
‘He’s the only person who could leak it without concern of being sued by Trump or anyone else.’
For video of Rachel’s appearance on The Tonight Show and her discussion of the release of Trump’s tax returns, see below:
Featured image screengrab via YouTube