President Donald Trump may have pulled the most epic political trolling since, well since the last time he did something like this to a political opponent. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was set to release a big scoop about Trump's taxes Tuesday, when the White House went and released them right before her show began.
Here was the announcement of the scoop that set the political world aflutter from Rachel Maddow's Twitter account:
BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@Rachel Maddow MSNBC) 1489534581.0
She later added the clarification explaining what she had in her possession, writing, "What we've got is from 2005... the President's 1040 form... details to come tonight 9PM ET, MSNBC."
But, as her show was set to begin likely before a very large audience, the White House undercut her scoop by releasing the taxes to the media.
"You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago," a White House official told CNN.
CNN reported on the breaking news of the release of Trump's 2005 taxes.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 15, 2017
The White House said Tuesday President Donald Trump earned more than $150 million in income and paid $38 million in taxes even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction in response to questions about the coming publication of his 2005 return.
The $38 million was in addition to "paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes," a White House official said ahead of an anticipated MSNBC news report about the returns.
Maddow went on with the report, with a lengthy introduction that was widely mocked because she apparently didn't know that her scoop had been completely undermined.
— Hardys® (@HardysMedia) March 15, 2017
Social media erupted with jokes about her big scoop being completely undone by Trump.
"Rachel Maddow's show is even more brutally unwatchable than I assumed" -- the entire press corps— Michael Tracey (@Michael Tracey) 1489541393.0
Rachel Maddow tonight. https://t.co/zxLyJjzN4n— Josh Jordan (@Josh Jordan) 1489541402.0
Ok, now to @TuckerCarlson who already read the returns, reported it, and interrogated a professor from a small college into tears over it— GregGutfeld (@GregGutfeld) 1489540819.0
ALSO BREAKING: The tax guy on Maddow thinks college professors his age hold $900K in municipal bonds. My dad must be richer than I thought.— David French (@David French) 1489541436.0
This return, in isolation, is nothingburger BUT serious kudos to @maddow for hyping story to refocus attention on unanswered questions!— Sally Kohn (@Sally Kohn) 1489541400.0
Conclusion: Our president is crazy enough to leak on himself even if it's incriminating information. #Maddow— Andrea Chalupa (@Andrea Chalupa) 1489541284.0
I'm actually impressed that Trump made 150 million in income in one year. Maybe he really is as rich as he said. Great scoop, Maddow!— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh) 1489541277.0
Rachel Maddow says it is not illegal, but I thought possessing stolen goods is illegal.— Norm Macdonald (@Norm Macdonald) 1489541243.0
Trump has alternately promised to release his taxes and then said he wasn't going to release his taxes since before the election, fueling speculation that there might be evidence of unsavory business dealings with the Russian government. Just prior to this story materializing, it was reported on CNN that FBI Director James Comey was close to speaking publicly about whether an investigation into Trump's Russia ties exists.
Trump has denied such allegations, blamed the media for "fake news" reports about damaging leaks from his administration, and called them at one point, "the enemy of the people" over the accusations.