New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof took to social media Sunday to call for an IRS agent to leak the tax returns of President Donald Trump.
Responding to a tweet from Vox.com editor Matthew Yglesias that said, "It's impressive that the IRS never leaks," Kristof tweeted: "But if you're in IRS and have a certain president's tax return that you'd like to leak, my address is: NYT, 620 Eighth Ave, NY NY 10018."
But if you're in IRS and have a certain president's tax return that you'd like to leak, my address is: NYT, 620 Eig… https://t.co/Vsn5dtfjYW— Nicholas Kristof (@Nicholas Kristof)1488762027.0
However, instead of the leaked returns, Kristof received stern rebuke — and some unsolicited legal advice.
Others tagged the official Twitter accounts of the FBI and Twitter to alert them of Kristof's seemingly illegal request:
#NewYorkTimes writer soliciting IRS employees to commit felony, which is itself a felony if I'm not mistaken. @FBI https://t.co/gXuCtuKIRG— MrRandy 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@MrRandy 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸)1488764265.0
Still others said Kristof's request proved their theory about the mainstream media being the "opposition:"
@NickKristof did you clutch your pearls and gasp when @realDonaldTrump called #fakenews the enemy? You can let them go now— KarlaThere Were NO Russians (@KarlaThere Were NO Russians)1488762898.0
@NickKristof You guys aren't even pretending to be unbiased any more, are you? Oddly, I guess that's a good thing. No more pretense.— Chuck Vipperman (@Chuck Vipperman)1488767960.0
One person even called for Kristof to release his own tax returns:
How about we see your tax returns and put a lot of scrutiny if you take influence money from Soros. https://t.co/vuMQ0m1wS0— Fistful of Doom (@Fistful of Doom)1488763112.0
Another person noted the hypocrisy of the request:
"Trump's accusations of a deep state conspiracy against him are pure lunacy. Also someone at the IRS leak me his tax returns" @NickKristof— Stephen L. Miller (@Stephen L. Miller)1488763155.0
The subject of Trump's tax returns has been a sour one for most. During his run for the White House, Trump repeatedly promised he would release his tax returns once the IRS stopped auditing him.
However, the IRS said in February 2016 that an audit need not stop him from publicly releasing his tax returns.
Despite Trump's failure to release any of his tax returns, one of his returns that was more than 20 years old was anonymously leaked to a New York Times beat reporter last October. That return was the subject of an entire news cycle because it showed that Trump potentially avoided paying federal income tax for more than a decade because of a business loss of nearly $1 billion in a single year.
Trump still hasn't released his tax returns — and he believes the public doesn't really care.