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Rachel Maddow Bags Biggest Audience Ever With Donald Trump Tax Document

Deadline logo Deadline 3/16/2017 Lisa de Moraes
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Rachel Maddow’s big reveal of Donald Trump’s headline-challenged 2005 tax return attracted 4.13 million viewers Tuesday night – her biggest audience ever.

About 1.4M of those viewers who watched her MSNBC program Tuesday night fell into the 25-54 news demographic group. That’s also a record for Maddow’s show.

Her Trump tax reveal nabbed the network’s second biggest audience ever for MSNBC for a regularly scheduled show, behind only the October 29, 2008 episode of  Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which had averaged 4.2 million total viewers, six days before the 2008 election that put Barack Obama into the White House.

Tuesday night, Maddow edged out timeslot competitors FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight (3.015M iewers and 594K in demo) as well as CNN’s 1.1M and 396K demo viewers.

Maddow’s show was the third most watched in all of TV in its timeslot, trailing by several laps, NBC’s This is Us which set a series record with 12.816 million viewers tuned in, as well as CBS’s NSIC: New Orleans (10.824M).

President Donald Trump blasted as “fake news” Rachel Maddow’s Tuesday program in which she got her hands on two pages of Trump’s 2005 IRS 1040 form.

Trump wasn’t the only critic of the broadcast, which got nicked by some viewers and TV-industry navel lint gazers as being a whole lot of buildup – she’d kept viewers panting for about 24 minutes before finally getting down to the info she’d obtained – for very little bang:

Rachel Maddow battled back on Thursday, telling the Associated Press that if people felt let down by her report about Trump’s tax document it’s more because of their preconceived ideas than anything she did.

About 90 minutes before her program, Maddow caused social media to go insane when she tweeted:

“We’ve got Trump’s tax returns…Seriously”

She waited about an hour before tweeting that she had gotten her hands on two pages from one year’s returns.

“Because I have information about the president doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a scandal,” she insisted to AP. “It doesn’t mean that it’s damning information. If other people leaped to that conclusion without me indicating that it was, that hype is external to what we did.”

Among those lampooning Maddow’s tactics, CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert:

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