At about 7:30 pm on Tuesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow set Twitter ablaze:
BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC.— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 14, 2017
There was some wiggle room in her language. “Trump tax returns” could mean many things. Perhaps it was Eric Trump’s tax returns. Or tax documents from a Trump casino. But apparently this is the real thing:
What we've got is from 2005... the President's 1040 form... details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC.— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 15, 2017
Maddow’s show hasn’t yet aired, but the Trump White House is trying to get out ahead of the story. The statement they released accuses Maddow of being willing to “violate the law” to release “two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.” Which is to say, they confirmed her story.
.@WhiteHouse statement on Maddow show @realDonaldTrump tax return via @ewstephe pic.twitter.com/nP8Z0o94p6— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) March 15, 2017
This statement might prove a tactical error by the Trump campaign, as many on Twitter are noting, correctly, that it puts the lie to the idea that Trump can’t release his returns.
I guess that they can release the rest of the returns now https://t.co/0IXVHyTxXv— Kevin Collins (@kwcollins) March 15, 2017
It’s worth remembering that Trump promised to release his tax returns as soon as his audit was over. This is a promise he has simply dropped. Trump can accuse Maddow of breaking the law all he wants, but this is simple journalism she’s doing, and it’s releasing information he has already vowed to make available to the American people.
We’ll see what’s in the documents Maddow has, but there’s a lot you can learn from a 1040 — including how much Trump made, how much he paid, how much he gave to charity, and more.
Maddow’s show airs at 9 pm Eastern on MSNBC. You can live-stream it on the MSNBC Now website, though you may need to enter cable company information to access the feed. If you don’t have cable or access to the live streams, well, Twitter is going to be active tonight, and we’ll be covering this story as it unfolds.