Last night, Rachel Maddow revealed the cover pages of Trump’s 2005 income tax return, showing he paid $38 million to Uncle Sam on $153 million in income. Frankly, there was little to embarrass the man, which made social media come alive last night with the question, was this another calculated distraction on his part to draw attention away from his actual scandals?
What the income tax return shows: he made millions and paid millions.
Yesterday’s publication of the two cover pages of Trump’s 2005 form 1040 (the long form of the personal income tax return for federal taxes) revealed that Trump paid a lot in taxes that year. Granted, he did appear to write off most of his income in clever tax shelters, but the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) kept him from getting away with the much smaller bill of about $3 million that would have afforded him. Parenthetically, Trump wants to eliminate the AMT, which would help plenty of the ultra-rich pay next to nothing in income tax, but that’s another show.
This was hardly the one-two punch many Americans had hoped for, after months and months of public speculation either that he was not the multi-millionaire he claimed, or that he habitually worked the system to pay almost no taxes at all. Granted, this was a lot juicer than the last income tax return we saw, so for a country starved for any transparency of the man’s finances, this was welcome news. Leaked documents are often leaked to be embarrassing, which these weren’t. We already knew Trump was loaded. So why leak them?
Make a lot of noise over here, to distract from what’s going on over there…
Trump is a “dumb fox,” someone who plays addle to hide how clever he is. If all his ridiculous claims and accusations are “rope a dope,” wouldn’t it stand to reason this is too?
So as soon as Maddow showed the returns, social media and the press lit up with the question, did Trump leak this income tax return as a distraction from his new immigration policy, the faltering healthcare bill, his administration’s ties to Russia, or any of his other legitimate scandals?
The Washington Post asked this directly: “Did Trump have his own tax return leaked? That was the big question after Maddow.”
The Guardian argued, “It would be a classic Trump tactic to deflect attention from his troubles with wire-tapping claims and replacing the healthcare law.” The Washington Post noted that Trump often posed as his own press agent, so he has a history in this game.
Michael Moore was quick to that punch,
So was the Palmer Report.
Tennessee Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen chimed in,
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) March 15, 2017
Conservative talk-show host asked,
What do ya bet that Trump himself leaked these tax returns to troll @maddow?
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) March 15, 2017
Unsurprisingly, Trump denies any of this.
And it wouldn’t be a news cycle unless Trump personally atgcked the reporter and the media (although as noted by the DidTrumpTweetIt archive, this tweet came from an iPhone so Trump may not have actually written it).
Well America, we’ll just have to see how this all plays out. Maybe our mystery leaked will release some of Trump’s income tax returns forms from more recent years (hint hint).
Featured image from twitter