Charles Cooke was not impressed with Rachel Maddow’s presentation last night of President Trump’s 2005 tax return:
For a moment, it seemed that Rachel Maddow was in possession of a genuine scoop. And then, all of a sudden, it didn’t….Thanks to MSNBC, the suggestion that Trump has “paid no taxes in 18 years” has now been definitively proven to be false. Moreover, Trump seems to have paid a higher tax rate in 2005 than did most political figures, and to have enjoyed a sizeable income to boot. Whether the report was cherry-picked we cannot possibly know. But on the basis of what was presented last night, the president looks both pretty accomplished and perfectly law-abiding. What, one wonders, did Maddow think she was achieving?
David Cay Johnston says he received the tax return in the mail, and he was surprisingly aggressive about suggesting that it might well have come from Donald Trump himself. “It’s just a possibility,” he said, but it was the very first thing he mentioned on the show.
At first I dismissed it. But then I started to wonder. Maybe 2005 was a year when Trump had both high income and high taxes. If so, anonymously releasing just one page from just that year could be an outrageous but savvy PR move—the kind of thing that Trump is very good at. Besides, there are very few people with access to Trump’s taxes, and who would have an incentive to release just this single page? Not someone who’s trying to blow a whistle on the guy. It almost had to come from somebody working in Trump’s interests.
I dunno. We’re all wearing tinfoil hats these days, aren’t we?