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What were they thinking?
After teasing twitter followers with the promise MSNBC would be releasing President Trump’s tax returns, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow stated they had “at least a portion, of Donald Trump’s tax returns.”
Immediately as her show started, Maddow began comparing Donald Trump to former President Richard Nixon, implying the sitting president is cheating on his taxes without tangible proof.
Maddow explained that the 1040 forms were turned over to reporter David Cay Johnston who provided them to Maddow and MSNBC. Maddow further explained that “These pages turned up in his mailbox.”
“For the record, the First Amendment gives us the right to publish this return… It’s not illegally published. Nor are we fake. Pinch me, I’m real.” Maddow sarcastically stated.
But as we now know, the Maddow/MSNBC pumped up story turned out to not only be a bust, it actually backfired in an epic way.
First, let’s look at the White House Statement on the matter:
— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) March 15, 2017
The White House preempted the story and for good reason.
While the story was clearly designed to damage Trump and some how expose him as a billionaire who doesn’t pay his fair share, Maddow and crew failed the simplest of tests on the attempt. She failed to research the effective tax rate paid by MSNBC parent Comcast and former President Barack Obama.
Trump’s effective tax rate was 25%. He paid in a whopping $38 million of his $150 million in income in 2005. Comcast pays an average of 24% while Obama paid just 19%.
It’s also important to note that Maddow’s story exposed Hillary Clinton’s false claim as well. Clinton had at one time (during a debate) claimed Trump might be hiding tax information because, according to her, he might not have paid any taxes at all.
$38 million in a single year is quite a steep tax bill and it would be hard to find many Americans who wouldn’t agree.
The backlash is harsh and well justified. Twitter is exploding with widespread mocking of Maddow’s prime time misstep.
The disconnect in mainstream media never ceases to amaze.