After President Donald Trump’s attorneys sent a letter to Trump about a review of his tax returns for the past 10 years said, “with few exceptions,” the returns didn’t reflect “any income of any time from Russian sources,” Twitter users turned #WithFewExceptions into a trending meme.
In the letter from Morgan Lewis attorneys, the lawyers state that they have completed a “review” of Trump’s tax returns from the last 10 years.
“With a few exceptions – as detailed below – your tax returns do not reflect (1) and income of any type from Russian sources, (2) any debt owed by you or TTO [The Trump Organization] to Russian lenders or any interest paid by you or TTO to Russian lenders, (3) any equity investments by Russian persons or entities in entities controlled by you or TTO, or (4) any equity or debt investments by you or TTO in Russian entities,” the letter reads.
The letter then goes on to list three exceptions, including a third “catch-all” exception.
- In 2013, Trump’s Miss Universe pageant was held in Moscow, so “a substantial portion” of the $12.2 million in foreign income that year came from Russia.
- In 2008, Trump Properties LLC sold an estate in Florida to a Russian billionaire for $95 million, three years after Trump acquired it for $41 million.
- “Over the years, it is likely that TTO or third-party entities engaged in ordinary course sales of goods or services with Russians or Russian entities,” the letter reads. The attorneys add, “With respect to this last exception, the amounts are immaterial.”
The Associated Press reports that the lawyers didn’t make copies of Trump’s tax returns available, so it couldn’t verify their claims. The White House told the AP that the letter was written after Senator Lindsey Graham, who is leading one of the Congressional investigations into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, made a request.
Trump has refused to release his tax returns, although MSNBC obtained Trump’s 2005 tax returns in March. The FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, while Congress is investigating Russia’s role in the election.
The AP’s first tweet about the letter included the “with few exceptions” quote, which set off a Twitter firestorm.
Soon, #WithFewExceptions started trending in the U.S., with several prominent journalists even taking part in the fun. In addition, MSNBC reports that “withfewexceptions.org” was bought by Democrats and it now redirects to a site Trump/Russia ties.
Below are some of the best tweets.