On Mar. 14, President Trump released his 2005 tax returns after months of refusal. Trump claimed that he could not release information on his returns because they were under a routine federal audit, however many thought that Trump’s reluctance to release his returns stemmed from his 1995 tax returns declaring a $916 million loss, an amount so substantial that he could have avoided paying taxes for years to come.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow sent out a tweet on Mar. 14 announcing that she was going to receive and reveal unseen tax records from President Trump. During the time between her tweet and her show, the White House released a statement that detailed Trump’s tax returns.
Maddow’s show led into the tax returns for 30 minutes before finally revealing the tax documents – of which only two pages were available, leaving audiences questioning the dramatic introduction. Maddow obtained record viewership, but ended up receiving criticism for overhyping her findings.
What we've got is from 2005… the President's 1040 form… details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 15, 2017
Trump’s returns revealed that he paid $38 million in federal taxes on an annual income of $150 million, but much remains unclear as there is no way to determine Trump’s net worth or the sources of his income such as real estate.