MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow found herself on the defensive after her big scoop Tuesday, in which she unveiled documents from Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns.
The AP reports that Maddow was defending her report after many viewers apparently felt let down by it. Maddow attributed their disappointment to the weight of expectations.
“Because I have information about the president doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal,” Maddow told the AP. “It doesn’t mean that it’s damning information. If other people leapt to that conclusion without me indicating that it was, that hype is external to what we did.”
“Maddow’s show revealed, through reporter David Cay Johnston, two pages of tax return information that showed Trump earned $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year,” the AP reports. “Trump has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns.”
The report adds: “Maddow’s tweet less than 90 minutes before her show that ‘we’ve got Trump’s tax returns’ set off a social media frenzy. Although a subsequent tweet specified it was only two pages from one year’s returns, expectations were sky high.”
“Her story was derided as ‘a big nothingburger’ by Fox News Channel’s Steve Doocy on Wednesday,” the report adds. “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.”