Donald Trump’s reaction to Rachel Maddow’s exposure of his 2005 tax returns last night included a diss aimed at the investigative journalist to whom the returns were mailed:
“Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, “went to his mailbox” and found my tax returns?”
He was quickly reminded on Twitter that plenty of heard of him. CNN’s Jake Tapper helpfully nudged Trump in the right direction:
Plenty have heard of him. David Cay Johnston won the Pulitzer Prize for his NYT coverage of taxes and tax loopholes. https://t.co/VibF28kubD
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 15, 2017
John Fugelsang’s approach was more “in your face” in tone:
You mean the Pulitzer winner who wrote an acclaimed & unchallenged book about you that you yourself once phoned at his home? Yeah. https://t.co/w1611q9HLA
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) March 15, 2017
Gee, Donald, your White House confirmed my story. POTUS fake Tweet. Sad! https://t.co/ibK2ApKI9E
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) March 15, 2017
This is typical of Trump, to first attempt to delegitimize the source of any information not congenial to his own interests. Such people and institutions become, in Trump’s lexicon, “losers” and “has-beens” and “failures” or “washed-up.”
Trump has tried this before, pretending to not know somebody he knows very well, for example, oh…Vladimir Putin comes to mind.
For Trump, it is a matter of lying fast enough to make it difficult for people to keep up and then ignoring all the reminders that he lied.
This is one lie Trump isn’t getting away with. Trump may or may not have leaked his own tax returns, but there is no doubt at all that he knows perfectly well who David Cay Johnston is.