MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's breathless "breaking news" hype about President Donald Trump's tax returns fell flat Tuesday night. And Twitterverse was merciless in its response to the failed "scoop."
The tax returns Maddow obtained were from 2005 — and they weren't even the full return. In fact, they were only two pages from his 1040 forum, showing how much Trump made and how much he paid in federal taxes.
Those numbers, too — Trump's income and tax paid — didn't give Maddow an explosive story. The returns stated that Trump made $150 million in 2005 and that he paid $38 million in taxes, which equaled about 25 percent of his income — certainly not fitting the liberal narrative that rich Americans don't pay their "fair share" or that Trump is a tax evader.
Maddow's story flopped and the internet destroyed her for it:
Rachel Maddow tonight reveals Amelia Earhart & Jimmy Hoffa are found; they married and had a child--Snoop Dog, who paid no taxes ever!— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@Gov. Mike Huckabee)1489586860.0
Who would have thought that Rachel Maddow would be doing PR for President Trump! @POTUS God does have a sense of humor.— ✞♕In God I Trust♕✞ (@✞♕In God I Trust♕✞)1489589849.0
Now every time a lib tries to say "but #TrumpTaxReturns!" we now have the luxury of firing back with "38 million." Thanks, Rachel @Maddow!— Vera Vanzetti (@Vera Vanzetti)1489553912.0
Don't miss it! Rachel Maddow will reveal who shot J. R. Ewing on the series "Dallas." Sure it was the 80's, but it's RACHEL MADDOW!— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@Gov. Mike Huckabee)1489546209.0
For her next trick, Rachel Maddow will reveal how Trump legally payed his mortgage, leased a car, maybe even purchased groceries!— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry Khachatrian)1489545143.0
Live shot of Rachel Maddow https://t.co/UH75ENSXHe— Matt Walsh (@Matt Walsh)1489544249.0
Others compared Maddow's segment to one of the most infamous live television moments in all of history: when Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone's vault only to find that it was empty:
Imagine Geraldo's regret when he opened Al Capone's vault to find Rachel Maddow's report on Trump's taxes. https://t.co/RH3FRZtV66— Ben Shapiro (@Ben Shapiro)1489543562.0
Geraldo called, and has invited Rachel Maddow to join him from Al Capone's secret vault for her next show.— Steve Deace (@Steve Deace)1489541536.0
Even Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., got in on the action:
Thank you Rachel Maddow for proving to your #Trump hating followers how successful @realDonaldTrump is & that he paid $40mm in taxes! #Taxes— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1489543684.0
Who else knew that Rachel Maddow was a Republican???#ThankYouMaddow #maga #trump #TrumpTaxReturn— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1489583555.0
While others pointed out that what Maddow did is potentially illegal:
Still, others thanked Maddow for proving that Trump did pay his "fair share" in 2005, which amounted to more than other noted liberals and mainstream media organizations:
TRUMP PAID HIGHER TAX RATE [25%] THAN MSNBC COMCAST [24%] MUCH HIGHER THAN OBAMA [19%] Thank you Rachel Maddow! #TrumpTaxes— Charlie Kirk (@Charlie Kirk)1489557917.0
Effective tax rates in 2005: Trump: 25% Obama: 19.5% Sanders: 13.5% Thanks Rachel Maddow for commitin' a felony for this info. Merica.— Cloyd Rivers (@Cloyd Rivers)1489548746.0
But, but, but Trump haters told us he paid NOTHING in income taxes? $38million in 2005?! That's a little north of ZERO. #rachelmaddow— Larry Elder (@Larry Elder)1489547542.0
Overall, a rough night for Maddow.