MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is comparing a leak of two pages President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE's 2005 tax forms to "a drop of water" in the desert to "a group of people dying of thirst" in defending the pages' widely mocked release on her show.
“I think the reason people were so excited is because it’s really weird that the president hasn’t released his financial information,” she told Jimmy Fallon Wednesday on NBC's "The Tonight Show." “It’s really odd, and there’s reasons to worry about it.”
"So when we found out that we had one, it was like speaking to a group of people dying of thirst in the desert and we were like, ‘Behold, we have found a drop.’ ‘A drop? You have a drop!?'”
The White House confirmed before Maddow's program on Tuesday that the tax documents were genuine and preemptively released them.
"We got a statement from them, they started calling us fake news,” Maddow said to Fallon before offering up a theory without any evidence that Trump may have leaked the returns himself.
"He's the only person who could leak it without concern of being sued by Trump or anyone else," speculated Maddow. "They're trying to threaten us for publishing them which is complete bull."
David Cay Johnston, the reporter who obtained the documents, also said while discussing the documents on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Tuesday that Trump could have been behind the leak, as did MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.
The Trump camp released one positive tax return to distract from Russia hearings and the Trumpcare meltdown. That's painfully obvious. https://t.co/NLBVPJhwg6— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 15, 2017
The Form 1040 from 2005 showed that Trump reported $150 million in income and paid $38 million in federal taxes, for an effective tax rate of 24 percent.
Trump is the first president in decades to not publicly release his tax returns. He has said he would not release them while he is being audited by the IRS, but the IRS has noted that an audit would not prevent anyone from releasing the information on their own.