Two pages of President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return were released Tuesday night, marking only the second time that any of Trump’s tax returns have been made public despite significant pressure to release them. Investigative journalist David Cay Johnston of DCReport.org received the pages in the mail. He then went on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow to explain the documents.
BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 14, 2017
The two pages show that Trump made $150 million in income and paid $38 million in taxes in 2005—a 25 percent tax rate.
The White House released a statement with information about the returns minutes before the MSNBC show aired.
“You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” the White House statement read. “Before being elected President, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.”
White House statement: “It is totally illegal to steal & publish tax returns” pic.twitter.com/2xDtrj7VuQ
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) March 15, 2017
In October, The New York Times received a page from Trump’s 1995 tax returns that showed a reported loss of over $900 million. Experts said that Trump could have used the loss to avoid paying income tax for 18 years, but these 2005 returns show that he did pay taxes, at least that year.
So who sent the returns? Johnston speculated that Trump himself may have sent them. “Donald creates his own reality,” Johnston said, explaining that Trump may have leaked the returns if he believed it would serve his self-interest.
As NBC reports, Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon not to release his tax returns.