Let's take a moment for a little diversion while we wait for TrumpCare to finish circling the drain. Some folks are speculating today on whether or not neo- fascist con artist Donald "Rump" Trump "leaked"the two pages from his 2005 personal tax returns to David Cay Johnston, which was then reported on by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC last night (the returns showed Rump paid income tax that year). Setting aside the (to us) less important question of whether Johnston and Maddow were played, a few observers came out fairly quickly with their analysis of what last night's little drama was all about:
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
Client copy, unsigned. Immediate response, with numbers, from Trump. No need to search through files to find 2005 return! No doubt https://t.co/GWuVV4i5dU— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) March 15, 2017
It is interesting how quickly the White House responded with highly detailed tax information.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 15, 2017
Crazy theory:— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) March 15, 2017
1. This is most innocuous of all his returns
2. They leaked it to diffuse all further inquiries with "It's old news."
Jen Hayden at Daily Kos has a pretty decent rundown on why a portion of this particular tax return was leaked by Rump, including: Rump's history of leaking, the immediate White House/ family response, the tax return was favorable to Rump, and the timing of the leak in the midst of the TrumpCare meltdown (or new information about his Russian connections?). But, to quickly dispatch the question at hand, to us the "smoking gun" was this page of his return, with the stamp "Client Copy" right there for all to see:
(Attribution: screen shot via Daily Kos)
That would mean this didn't come from the IRS or some "Deep State" anti- Rump warrior, but from the incompetent conspiracy monger himself. Only dolts like Rump and his henchmen would send this clearly marked client copy to Johnston, and then have their faux hissy fit all ready to go when it came out. Imagine if their multi- dimensional chess moves weren't so blatantly half- assed. (As Bill Maher said, "I can't believe Putin paid full price for this guy.") They can't even pull off a "sting" without Rump leaving his tiny fingerprints all over things.
Once again, as far as the "why now?":
Slightly interested in Trump tax returns. Enormously interested in the attempt to take away health care from millions of American families.— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) March 15, 2017
That's the focus, folks.