On Tuesday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow tried to ‘expose’ President Donald Trump by releasing his 2005 tax returns. Unfortunately for her, this backfired when the forms revealed that the president made $138 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in taxes that year, meaning there was nothing suspicious in the returns.
Now, reports are coming in that the Trump administration is considering suing both MSNBC and David Johnston, the reporter who gave the tax returns to Maddow. The White House accused MSNBC of breaking the law immediately after the segment aired.
“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,” the White House said in a statement after the show.
Trump’s legal team has reportedly spent the last two days weighing the merits of a case against MSNBC and Johnston, alleging that they violated federal privacy laws during the broadcast. Yahoo Finance reported that White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks refused to confirm or deny that Trump is thinking about a lawsuit. Meanwhile, MSNBC is already scrambling to defend itself.
“There is no legal prohibition against journalists publishing these tax returns. It is protected by the First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent,” the network said in a statement.
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