News & Politics

MSNBC Floats the Theory That Donald Trump Leaked His Own Tax Return

Did President Trump leak the documents to distract?

Photo Credit: MSNBC

Two pages of Donald Trump's 2005 tax returns were mysteriously delivered to journalist David Cay Johnston, who continues to speculate on whether the president sent them himself. 

"Donald has a long history of leaking material by himself when he thinks it's in his interest," Johnston told Rachel Maddow, when he appeared on her much anticipated program Tuesday to discuss the documents. 

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough agreed, asserting that President Trump leaking his own tax return could have been done to "distract from Russia hearings and the Trumpcare meltdown."

"That's painfully obvious," he added.

“This one tax return is not bad for him because he cherry-picked one return from over a decade ago and had it leaked to the press,” Scarborough added. 

Still, "as Maddow prepared to go on the air last night, the White House acknowledged the document's veracity," "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski reminded viewers Wednesday morning.  

The administration adamantly defended Trump's 25% payment as "no more than than legally required" while criticizing the "illegally" published report. 

But aside from showing a $38 million payment on $103.2 million in income, the two pages revealed very little. 

"It just begs a lot of questions and people will suspect he's trying to manipulate everything because there is widespread speculation on where it might have come from," MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin pointed out. "We don't know, but what we do know is that it's a distraction that doesn't amount to much in terms of knowing more about him." 

The "distraction" theory was later echoed by CNN, noted Scarborough.


Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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