Rachel Maddow Took Forever To Reveal Trump’s Tax Returns And The Internet Exploded

"Rachel Maddow is the Ryan Seacrest of breaking news."

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In case you were living under a rock Tuesday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow stunned the internet with news that she had information on President Donald Trump's elusive tax returns.

BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously).

Cue world stop.

Me: I'm done with reading anything about Trump, it's mentally and emotionally draining. Rachel Maddow: I have Trum… https://t.co/EmkiPZ57H7

"Rachel @maddow is about to spill all the tea on @realDonaldTrump tax returns" Everyone:

But then just before Rachel Maddow took the air, the White House thwarted her scoop and released some details from Trump's 2005 tax return: The president paid $38 million in taxes and earned $150 million that year. PLOT TWIST.

Instead of immediately diving into the exclusive information, however, Maddow meandered through background and analysis. That did not go over well.

Rachel Maddow is the Ryan Seacrest of Breaking News.

Twitter started roasting the news anchor as the minutes just. Painfully. Crawled. By.

Livestream of #Maddow revealing Trump's taxes

Things started to get a little tense. Just a bit.

More than a million people have signed a petition demanding that Rachel Maddow release Trump's tax returns

Maddow: "It would be helpful to see his tax returns" me, waiting for her to release them:

Even outlets like the Daily Beast and the Washington Post published the leaked documents before as Maddow continued to hype her story.

WSJ just scooped Maddow 16 minutes into her show https://t.co/EBKHz0sjpk

After 19 minutes without any mention as to what she actually had on Trump, Twitter lost its damn mind.

People wondered if it was a new saga.

Rachel Maddow announces she will release Donald Trump’s tax returns as a 10-episode Netflix series.

...And then she cut to a commercial break. Cue all-out pandemonium:

Waiting on @maddow to finally show us the tax returns like... #rachelmaddow #trump #TaxReturns

When she finally disclosed the two pages from Trump's 2005 1040 form, they revealed little more than what the president had already released.

On Wednesday, Maddow defended her handling of the story, telling the Associated Press that people created their own frenzied expectations. She argued that she never misrepresented what she had and contextualizing before divulging the information was vital to "explain the weight of it and why it is important."

“Because I have information about the president doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal,” she said. “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.”

Some people have speculated that Maddow was set up by Trump after she explained the documents were left in investigative reporter David Cay Johnston's mailbox, who then gave them to MSNBC.

Trump team leaked these "returns" to Rachel Maddow like...

Asked for the source of the documents, Johnston said he did not know and suggested it could have been leaked by anyone, including the president himself.

Maddow said the White House didn't foil her scoop by releasing the tax documents early, emphasizing that it was more important to prove her story was accurate.

As for the profuse criticism from viewers and media, some even from her colleagues, Maddow said, “I don’t really care.”

In short. This about sums it up for many viewers:

My sister once told me to come downstairs for lasagna. got there. It was vegetarian lasagna, this is what Rachel Maddow just did to America

Brianna Sacks is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Brianna Sacks at brianna.sacks@buzzfeed.com.

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