Prior to the March 14 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, the news show's star tweeted some big news — that she'd acquired President Donald Trump's tax returns and planned to reveal their contents live on air. Maddow's revelation of Trump's 2005 tax returns were certainly newsworthy enough to warrant a response from the White House, which stated that President Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 on an income of $150 million in a statement released to the press prior to Maddow's show airing.
In the statement about Trump's tax returns, the White House also claimed that Maddow was "willing to violate the law" to publish the returns, and that her show was "desperate for ratings." The legality of publishing Trump's tax returns was famously on trial prior to the election when The New York Times published parts of Trump's 1995 state tax returns.
The revelations from Maddow's breaking report on Trump's 2005 tax returns aren't completely in accordance with what the White House released prior to its airing. The White House statement claimed that Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005, while the documents Maddow acquired and reported on show that Trump paid roughly $36.5 million in combined federal and "alternative minimum tax" fees. David Cay Johnston, the journalist who obtained and released Trump's 2005 tax returns, made a point of refuting the White House's statement that said the president paid $38 million in taxes that year.
The documents Maddow acquired have yet to be independently verified by Bustle or other news sources. Bustle has reached out to the White House for comments about $1.5 million disparity between their claims and Maddow's.
Ahead of report by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, White House releases some Trump tax info for 2005. https://t.co/wIt8WtXZtP— The Associated Press (@AP) March 15, 2017
Maddow's report aimed to shed more light on the claimed financial gains and expenditures of a man who has bankrupted six times and whose financial ties to Russia have caused speculation about the administration's alleged relationship to Moscow.
2005 was a significant year in Trump's life prior to this tax revelation — it was the year he was caught on the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape making lewd statements about grabbing women by the p*ssy without their permission, something he claims he never acted on.
It remains unclear what, if any, implications Maddow's release of Trump's alleged 1040 from 2005, but if nothing else, they are moving forward the long-winded argument over the president's tax returns and could pressure the White House to release more returns in the future.