MSNBC host Rachel Maddow was clearly hoping to smear the president when she teased that she had obtained his 2005 tax returns ahead of her show Tuesday night. Yet, when it came time for her to reveal her big scoop, the returns showed he paid his fair share in income taxes - even a higher percentage than both Bernie Sanders and Mitt Romney.
Liberal pundit Van Jones had to admit that Trump's tax returns do nothing but shed a positive light on his character. After Maddow's broadcast, Jones said on CNN that he was hoping he would find something more sinister.
"If all we get tonight is that Donald Trump paid $38 million to America's government, that's a good night for Donald Trump," Jones said. "I'm sorry, but there's just really no way–I was hoping and praying that it would show not only did he pay no taxes, he actually charged the government and got money back." "I wanted something I could get excited about," he added.
The crazy thing is, Trump releasing his tax returns would actually help improve his image among voters, reporter David Cay Johnston, who broke the story, also noted on CNN.
It was obvious to many that Maddow was using Trump's tax returns as a publicity stunt - even liberal outlets admitted as much. Slate was particularly disgusted by her behavior.
Some people appreciated Maddow's journalism, though.