CNN's Malveaux: Trump Tax Returns Ask 'Whether He Skipped Out on Paying His Fair Share of Taxes'

It didn't take long for CNN to expose its bias against President Donald Trump's 2005 tax returns. At the top of the first hour of CNN's New Day on Wednesday, reporter Suzanne Malveaux said, "The release of President Trump’s 2005 taxes raises more questions than answers like whether he skipped out on paying his fair share of taxes more recently."

Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, an outspoken critic of the President, acquired the first couple pages of Trump's 2005 tax returns in the mail on Tuesday and talked to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow the following evening. Johnston said on the network that the then-business executive paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income, a tax rate of 25 percent.

Malveaux reported, "The move comes as they're battling headlines on the GOP bill and wiretapping claims. Prompting Johnston to speculate whether the President himself or one of his staffers sent them anonymously.Johnston told CNN that the Internal Revenue Service did not send him the document since the return stated the words "client copy." The White House later confirmed the document's figures.

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On Tuesday night, a CNN panel actually mocked the MSNBC "exclusive" for being much ado about nothing. Even Democrats, like former Clinton campaign press secretary Brian Fallon, have dismissed the returns. "I don't think we learned anything at all interesting tonight. This would be a mistake for Democrats to get distracted by," Fallon said on CNN.

Despite such yawning, Malveux still hyped the story: "The DNC [has been] suggesting the President may have other reasons for keeping his taxes to himself. Interestingly enough, Trump's return showed he paid about $31 million of the 36.5 million in income tax in the form of an alternative minimum tax. It’s designed to cut down on those who file excessive deductions. Also something Trump vowed to eliminate, so it gives you a window into some of his thinking."

The President has yet to release his tax returns from years other than 2005. Late last year, the New York Times reported Trump was legally able to avoid paying taxes in the early 1990s through IRS loopholes.

Here is the March 15th exchange:

New Day

03/15/2017

6:00:01 AM - 6:02:53 AM [2 min., 52 sec.]

POPPY HARLOW: And why did this come out now? After he refused to release any of his returns as a candidate. And this an intentional distraction against a growing number of members of his own party against their health care plan, wiretapping allegations, and the investigation into alleged ties between the President and Russia. So much at stake on Day 55 of the Trump Presidency.  

SUZANNE MALVEAUX: Good morning, Poppy. The release of President Trump’s 2005 taxes raises more questions than answers like whether he skipped out on paying his fair share of taxes more recently. But it's been treated as more of a distraction from those who have been calling for his tax returns throughout the campaign. The American public finally getting a glimpse at President Trump's federal tax returns. Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston obtaining the first two pages of Mr. Trump's 2005 taxes. The document shows he paid $38 million in taxes on more than $150 million in income. Giving him an effective tax rate of 25%. The White House confirming the figures overnight. The move comes as they're battling headlines on the GOP bill and wiretapping claims. Prompting Johnston to speculate whether the President himself or one of his staffers sent them anonymously. 

[ROLL TAPE]

CNN ANCHOR: Do you think it's possible? 

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Donald has a long history of leaking information about himself. 

MALVEAUX: Democrats largely dismissing the tax disclosure.

[ROLL TAPE] 

BRIAN FALLON: I don't think we learned anything at all interesting tonight. This would be a mistake for Democrats to get distracted by. 

MALVEAUX: His son suggesting it was a positive development for his father. “BREAKING NEWS: 12 years ago Donald Trump made a lot of money and paid a lot in taxes. #Scandal.” This after President Trump insisted for months he could not release his tax returns because they are still under audit by the IRS.

[ROLL TAPE]

DONALD TRUMP: Everyone says you don't release your returns until the audit is complete. When the audit is complete I'll do it. Depends on the audit. Not a big deal. 

MALVEAUX: The DNC suggesting the President may have other reasons for keeping his taxes to himself. Interestingly enough, Trump's return showed he paid about $31 million of the 36.5 million in income tax in the form of an alternative minimum tax. It’s designed to cut down on those who file excessive deductions. Also something Trump vowed to eliminate, so it gives you a window into some of his thinking. 

 

CyberAlerts 2016 Presidential Taxes Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Covert Liberal Activists Trump transition New Day Government & Press New Day IRS Suzanne Malveaux David Cay Johnston Rachel Maddow Donald Trump
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