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Donald Trump tax returns revealed after document mysteriously leaked to media

By Mirror | Wednesday, Mar 15th 2017 at 07:26
Part of Donald Trump's tax returns have finally been revealed.

Part of Donald Trump's tax returns have finally been revealed.

American news network MSNBC obtained two pages of the President's 2005 returns which were aired on US TV on Tuesday night.

Host Rachel Maddow said she received the documents from journalist David Cay Johnston, who revealed that he received them in the mail.

In response to the report, the White House issued a statement saying that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on more than $150 million in income in 2005.

The Trump administration did not release any documents supporting its numbers.

It said Trump, as head of the Trump Organization, had a responsibility "to pay no more tax than legally required."

The White House said in its statement: "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.

"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."

Maddow earlier posted a cryptic tweet teasing that she was set to share the long-awaited details of the President's finances.

She simply tweeted: "We've got Trump's tax returns... (Seriously)."

The two pages of the return showed that Trump and wife Melania paid $5.3 million in income taxes and $31 million in the "alternative minimum tax" on income of more than $150 million. It included a $105 million writedown on losses.

The two pages of the return actually were first published on David Cay Johnston's DCReport.org before they were revealed on Maddow's show.

Johnston, a veteran investigative reporter, obtained the tax returns when they showed up in his mailbox, he said. He then brought the story to Maddow's show.

"This describes the types of income, but not the sources," Johnston said on Maddow's show.

The revelation was expected to give Maddow's show a ratings spike, after she already has enjoyed higher viewership since Trump took office. But given the buildup in the hour or so before the Tuesday broadcast, her scoop was a bit overhyped.

Maddow herself opened her show suggesting that that the documents they had were just a start to perhaps more revelations later, and she devoted the opening segment of her show to running through many of the stories she has featured in recent weeks, including Trump and his associates ties to Russian officials.

The information from the 2005 returns contained no such revelation. The White House, aware that the report was coming, even disclosed figures from the documents about a half-hour before Maddow's show started.

"It is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the president will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans," the White House said in a statement.

Maddow, however, said that "for the record, the First Amendment gives us the right to publish the return."

The bigger intrigue may be in who leaked the two pages, which were labeled "client copy." Johnston didn't discount that Trump, or one of his associates, may have leaked the documents.

"It could have been leaked by someone in his own direction," he said, as Twitter ran the gamut of theories that Trump may be intent on distracting from the negative attention to Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Trump's tax returns were an issue throughout the 2016 campaign, as he broke with precedent and refused to disclose his returns as other presidential nominees had done.

It has led to speculation - among rivals and in the media - that Trump has something to hide.

Maddow, whose show has gotten a significant bounce in the ratings since Trump took office, has focused in particular on Trump and his associates ties to Russia.

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