On a seemingly normal Tuesday night, MSNBC host of The Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel Maddow, dropped an atomic bomb of epic Twitter proportions. With a tweet, Maddow claimed the show had obtained exclusive information regarding President Donald Trump's allusive and now almost-infamous tax returns, the free world spent the better part of Tuesday evening with breath that was baited. However, one question remained unanswered: how did Rachel Maddow get Trump's tax returns? The details circling what is arguably the most exclusive political story of 2017, were laid out in detail.
Romper reached out to The Rachel Maddow Show's team, but no comment was given at the time of publication.
According to Maddow, only seconds into her show, portions of a past 2005 tax return were "turned over to a reporter." The reporter was later named: David Cay Johnston. Johnston is a world-class American investigative journalist and author, a specialist in economics and tax issues, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting. According to Maddow, Trump's tax returns showed up — mysteriously and with no explanation — in Johnston's mailbox. How those 2005 returns, that were handed over to Johnston, ended up in the hands of Maddow and her show remain to be seen. However, given Johnston's track record of award-winning reporting, and the candor and transparency of Maddow and (what can only be assumed) the production team behind The Rachel Maddow Show, one is quick to assume the returns were obtained legally and handed over to MSNBC by choice. In fact, Maddow went on to say, "The First Amendment gives us the right to publish the tax returns. They are not being published illegally."
An hour before Maddow broke the news on her show, Johnston tweeted that he would be breaking the "tax returns story" via his own personal Twitter account. Prior to the information in Trump's tax return was discussed in depth, Maddow went into great, passionate detail concerning the oddness in Trump refusing to release his tax returns. The MSNBC host went on to even detail the events surrounding former President Richard Nixon's tax returns, and why even the now infamous and corrupt president released his returns to the general public.
"Couldn't the tax returns sort this out for us? If there are inexplicable dumps of foreign money into the president's coffers, that cannot be explained in normal business terms, that's potentially a big problem for someone who is serving as the president of the United States, right?"
Thanks to the returns that were reportedly turned over to Johnston, Maddow learned that Trump was overpaid for a house by a Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. According to Maddow and the tax returns, Rybolovlev paid $95 million for his Palm Beach mansion that, according to Maddow, was a much-higher price than a "business man" would pay.
As the details continue to emerge and more information regarding the president's tax returns are revealed, there's little-to-no doubt that more and more Americans will know who David Cay Johnston is. In fact, they might just take the time to publicly and unapologetically thank him.