Rachel Maddow set the internet abuzz on Tuesday night after tweeting that her show had acquired President Trump’s tax returns — and later that evening, the MSNBC host did not disappoint.

After months of excuses from Trump and his team as to why he hasn’t released his tax returns (despite repeated requests that he do so), The Rachel Maddow Show decided to take matters into their own hands this week by releasing the president’s 1040 form from 2005 on Tuesday evening. The segment began by explaining why, exactly, the president’s tax returns are of interest, particularly in regards to potential foreign conflicts of interest. Maddow then explained what they’d obtained and what can be gleaned from it.

While not quite the all-out, explosive exposé people were hoping for, the document did provide new insight into how Trump ran his businesses and why he might be avoiding releasing his more recent tax returns. First obtained by DCReport founder and editor David Cay Johnston, who claims he found the returns in his mailbox, the first two pages of Trump’s 2005 federal income tax return show that Trump earned over $150 million that year, and that he and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, paid a combined $5.3 million in regular federal income tax. In addition, the Trumps also paid $31 million in “alternative minimum tax,” something the president has previously said should be eliminated.

Another one bites the dust

The statement

During the segment, Maddow stated that the White House had confirmed the validity of the two pages, reading aloud their statement released prior to the broadcast:

Maddow counters response

In response, Maddow countered that the First Amendment protects her right to publish the documents, before taking a jab at Trump's love for "fake news" by making a joke about her reporting being real. After a commercial break, the host went on to discuss the obtained tax returns with Johnston and her MSNBC colleague Chris Hayes — pointing out that the most exciting revelation isn't from the document itself, but instead the fact that it proves that Trump's tax returns are obtainable without the president releasing them. As previously reported, Trump and his team have offered a plethora of excuses as to why the president has not released his tax returns, most notably claiming that he could not do so because he was under audit. However, prior to the election, the IRS gave Trump permission to release his returns despite the audit — something he seems to have disregarded.

A photo of the tax returns

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