Tax return debate
For the year and a half that he was on the campaign trail, Donald Trump faced increased criticism from the mainstream media and his political opponents for not releasing his tax returns. Every major presidential candidate since 1976 had made at least their most recent financial information public, but the billionare real estate mogul kept deflecting, claiming that an audit from the IRS was preventing him from doing so. While Trump faced backlash, he was able to weather the storm and become the new president with a shocking win over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last November. Moments before the aforementioned Rachel Maddow report aired, the White House released a statement verifying the tax returns, and showed that the president paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 on an income of around $150 million. However, supporters of Trump argued that releasing the returns was illegal, which was the topic during a heated exchange on Twitter between the president's lawyer and another MSNBC host on March 15.
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. https://t.co/P5cMuApGVe— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 15, 2017
As part of a series of tweets slamming Donald Trump over his tax returns, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough accused the former host of "The Apprentice" of "cherry picking" the information he wanted to make public as a way to deflect from other issues occurring the White House, most notably the Russian scandal and the debate over health care. In response, Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen was not happy with Scarborough's allegation.
"@JoeNBC As #potus @realDonaldTrump personal attorney, I know who has his taxes," Michael Cohen replied on Twitter, while adding, "You better have proof to back up your claim and big mouth!" Just an hour later, Joe Scarborough was quick to fire back. "I don't need proof for an opinion 1st graders would get," the MSNBC host wrote. "But you do need proof that Obama tapped Trump's phones," Scarborough added, before asking, "Where is it, Mr. Lawyer?"
I don't need proof for an opinion 1st graders would get. But you do need proof that Obama tapped Trump's phones. Where is it, Mr. Lawyer? https://t.co/EZfiaEq2yp— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 15, 2017
On Wednesday morning, Donald Trump sent out his own tweet, accusing Rachel Maddow of producing "fake news," while hitting back at David Cay Johnston, the man responsible for releasing the tax returns that he said arrived in his personal mail box. As of press time, no further action has been taken..