As MSNBC host Rachel Maddow claimed on her Twitter account, she did reveal President Donald Trump‘s tax returns on her show on Tuesday, March 14 at 9 p.m. ET. She added “seriously” at the end of the message to prove that she wasn’t kidding. In a subsequent tweet, she wrote that they have Trump’s 1040 form from 2005.
Here’s Maddow’s full report:
Reuters’ Jennifer Ablan reports that the White House has issued a response to Maddow, saying that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million. Trump had a responsibility “to pay no more tax than legally required,” the White House said.
In the statement, the White House accused Maddow of being so “desperate for ratings” that she is pushing a “story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.”
“The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans,” the statement reads.
Author David Clay Johnston later tweeted that he’s the one who will beak “a big story about trump and his taxes” on Maddow’s show. Johnston is the author of The Making of Donald Trump, which was published in August.
Lawrence O’Donnell, who host the 10 p.m. ET hour on MSNBC, also promised “the night we’ve been waiting for.”
Trump has yet to release his tax returns, despite saying that he would eventually. On January 22, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told ABC News that Trump will not release his tax returns, as the administration took the view that people don’t care about them. However, the first White House petition posted on the We The People site called for Trump to do so, and earned over 1.08 million signatures.
Trump also claimed that he was “under audit” during his January audit, which was why he would not release them. “You know, the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters, OK? They’re the only who ask,” Trump said at the time. He also insisted that people would learn very little from his tax returns, even though they could prove whether or not he has dealings in Russia.
“First of all, you learn very little to a tax return. What you should go down to federal elections and take a look at the numbers,” Trump said in January. “And actually, people have learned a lot about my company and now they realize, my company is much bigger, much more powerful than they ever thought. We’re in many, many countries, and I’m very proud of it.”
While Democrats have long demanded that Trump release his tax returns, as all presidents have done since Richard Nixon, Republicans have been more cautious.
“I think that’s getting ahead of ourselves at this point,” Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said on ABC News This Week when asked if Congress would subpoena Trump’s tax returns. “We’ve been given extraordinary access to the intelligence underlying the intelligence community’s assessment about Russia’s activities in our political system last year. That wasn’t done by the Obama administration before now. That was done by the Trump administration.”
Although Trump stuck with his “audit” excuse, The Huffington Post reported that the IRS said someone could release tax information while being audited. Nixon released his tax returns while under audit. During a Bill O’Reilly interview in September, Trump said he’d release his tax returns after the audit was complete. “When the audit is complete, I’ll release my returns. I have no problem with it. It doesn’t matter,” Trump said at the time.
When Trump’s rivals in the 2016 Presidential race, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, released their tax returns, they wondered what Trump might have to hide.
“Donald Trump is hiding behind fake excuses and backtracking on his previous promises to release his tax returns,” Hillary for America communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement. “He has failed to provide the public with the most basic financial information disclosed by every major candidate in the last 40 years. What is he trying to hide?”