Trump releases some 2005 tax info ahead of TV network news report

Donald trumpJohn Moore/Getty ImagesDonald Trump at a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The White House has released some information about US President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns after MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s show teased that it had obtained part of the forms.

A tweet from Maddow’s account on Tuesday read, “BREAKING: We’ve got Trump tax returns.” Daily Beast writer David Cay Johnston touted a pending story in a follow-up message.

The documents are described as the first two pages of Trump’s 2005 federal income tax return, according to Daily Beast contributor David Cay Johnston.

The forms noted that Trump and his wife Melania paid more than $US38 million in federal income taxes in 2005. Most of that was classified under the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which Trump has suggested should be eliminated.

In response to Maddow’s earlier teasing of the reporting, a White House official told Business Insider that Trump paid $US38 million in taxes on $US150 million in income in 2005, while blasting the MSNBC report.

“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 official said.

To date, a complete accounting of Trump’s history has not been publicly released, breaking from decades of tradition in presidential politics. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump resisted calls to share his returns, citing an ongoing audit which he claimed prevented him from making the documents public.

Experts have refuted that claim, but Trump persisted, saying he would release the returns after the audit was completed, ostensibly after the election. Trump’s campaign manager-turned-White-House counselor Kellyanne Conway said after the inauguration in January that Trump would not publish his tax returns, after all.

Trump largely scoffed at the necessity of revealing his tax documents, often claiming that voters would learn “very little” from them. Critics like 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have suggested there may be a “bombshell” hidden in Trump’s taxes.

Late in the election cycle, The New York Times published several pages from Trump’s 1995 returns.

Read the White House official’s full statement below:

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.

That being said, Mr. Trump paid $US38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $US150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that.

Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, 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.

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