Her story was derided as "a big nothingburger" by Fox News Channel's Steve Doocy on Wednesday. There were unflattering comparisons to Geraldo Rivera's opening of Al Capone's vault, television shorthand for an anticipated event that doesn't meet expectations. The White House's pre-emptive step of issuing a statement with Trump's income and estimated taxes for that year before Maddow's show started also took air out of the story.
Rachel Maddow, who has broken barriers as the first openly gay or lesbian host of a prime-time news program, joked Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump might send her away "to a camp." Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC's highest-rated program, made the joke as a guest on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen." Cohen, who often interviews his guests with provoking questions, asked Maddow what her first question for Trump would be if he was a guest on her show, the Hill reported. The question came from a viewer, Cohen said. After a pause, Maddow deadpanned: "Are you going to send me or anybody that I know to a camp?" Cohen quickly changed the topic.
It took 22 minutes for Rachel Maddow to reveal the details about Donald Trump's taxes that she promised before her nightly cable news show. For an eagerly watching internet, it felt like waiting an eternity, with very little payoff. As MSNBC's Maddow went on and on about stuff we already knew about Trump before the big reveal Tuesday, viewers were left angrily tapping their feet. Rule No. 1 of the internet: Don't make us wait. More than a million people have signed a petition demanding that Rachel Maddow release Trump's tax returns Members of Phish are watching Maddow right now saying, "This is taking too long."
That long tease MSNBC's Rachel Maddow spun on President Donald Trump's taxes may have been mocked by other journalists but the Tuesday report did the trick for her ratings, drawing in 4.13 million viewers, 1.4 million of them in the coveted 25-54 age group, Nielsen Ratings data showed Thursday. Maddow broadcast a report on Trump's 2005 tax return, which showed he made $150 million and paid $38 million in federal taxes. But before getting to the meat of the story, she teased viewers for 20 minutes. Interest in Trump's tax returns is high because he has refused to release them and concerns they may reveal ties to Russia, something he has denied but of interest in light of the Kremlin's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Maddow's Tuesday night audience was her biggest ever, NBC said, and was 60 percent higher than her average the preceding week, the Hollywood Reporter noted.
Trump has been under pressure to provide his tax returns since early in his candidacy. Though candidates aren't obligated by law to make their tax returns public, it has been a tradition to do so since the 1970s. On the campaign trail, Trump said he could not release his returns because he was being audited. Once he was elected, he said he would not be releasing them, as all recent presidents have done. Journalist and author David Cay Johnston tweeted to say he'd be joining Maddow to break the story.