Last night, news broke that MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow had obtained Trump’s tax returns. The show itself promised a real scoop on social media, about an hour before it aired.
As many have pointed out, the story turned out to be a total nothingburger: Maddow’s investigative reporter got his hands on a copy of Trump’s 2005 tax returns, which show that Trump paid as little taxes as possible that year — something he’s spouted openly during the campaign. Because Trump thinks that paying income tax is for the stupid.
According to the two-page summary document, in 2005, Trump made over $150 million and paid $38 million in taxes that year.
In other words, nothing earth-shattering was revealed.
However, a screenshot from last night clearly shows the document stamped as “client copy,” which has led many to believe that the Trump administration leaked the meaningless document to the press (the Daily Beast also got their hands on a copy) in order to distract us from something way bigger — but what exactly?
Dan Rather wrote in a Facebook post earlier today:
Well the Donald Trump tax returns released last night seem more smokescreen than smoking gun. What started with suspicion of what was in them has now becomes suspicion of whether the Trump team leaked them as a diversion.It bears reminding that we still haven’t seen any detailed filings for Mr. Trump from recent years, but in my reporter’s estimation, as important as that is, there are bigger stories to which we need to be devoting attention.
He then goes on to list these stories as Russia, the GOP’s godawful health care bill, and North Korea (which we didn’t see coming). You can read the full post here.
Russia is of course everyone’s go-to scandal, but this makes us wonder: Is Trump hiding an even bigger one?