Poor Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host with the left-leaning most. She had a point — she had a bombshell point.
And it was a point that would have set her in history books as the One Who Got Donald Trump — no doubt, in her mind, at least.
But sadly, she was done in by her own mouth.
Her rambling, long-winded, partisan-driven drivel kept her from making it.
Happily, President Donald Trump didn’t take so long to make his.
On Wednesday, he tweeted: “Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!”
He was referring to the fact that Maddow supposedly was handed a big time news scoop, Trump’s tax documents, from one of her network’s own reporters — and how he got them is all part of the Big News.
Here’s how it all went down, beginning at 7:36 p.m. Eastern Time: Maddow tweeted “BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).”
The “seriously” gave it extra oomph — not to mention extra mystery. It wasn’t long before social media got buzzing, wondering the likes of how many tax returns Maddow had, whether she had the paperwork goods that would lead her not only to become the One Who Got Donald Trump, but the One Who Got Donald Trump Impeached.
Well, 8:21 came and went, and nothing. Then 8:22 came and went — and again, nothing. Yes, it was all the way to 8:24 when the next Maddow tweet came out, this one specifying that it was Trump’s IRS Form 1040 from 2005.
We’ve got the goods. Let the Trump tears begin.
And now the show starts, and Maddow starts to talk and as the seconds wear into minutes, and the minutes into many minutes, viewers begin to realize: This lady ain’t gonna get to the point any time soon.
“In just a second, we’re going to show you exactly what it is we’ve got,” Maddow said, at the opening of the broadcast hour.
But second must have a different meaning in Maddow world, because it was actually 23 minutes or so into the show — a long 23 minutes, marked by twists and turns into conspiratorial territory about Russia, real estate and the Deutsche Bank — before she hit remotely on the topic of viewer anticipation. Even that was after commercial break.
And by then, wouldn’t you know it, the White House had released its own tax information, saying Trump had paid millions of dollars on $150 million worth of income in 2005.
By the time Maddow got to that information, she had moved from the arena of “scoop” into one of “confirmation.” Her highly promoted exclusive turned into little more than a “yes, that’s right” to a formal White House release of data.
The White House couldn’t help but giggle.
“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 Trump spokesperson said in a statement.
Donald Trump Jr., took a page out of father’s book, meanwhile, and took to Twitter.
“Thank you Rachel Maddow,” he wrote, at the show’s ending, “for proving to your #Trump hating followers how successful @realDonald Trump is $ that he paid $40mm in taxes!”
Ouch. That’s the big story, though, isn’t it? Maddow tried to paint Trump as a tax-dodger, as a thief and robber baron who refused to release his tax records to the public because he had something to hide. But paying that many millions of dollars in taxes?
That’s kind of an ad for tax reform that includes hefty tax cuts, isn’t it?
Kind of a 23-minute ad, thanks to Maddow and her mouth.