MSNBC announced March 14 that President Donald Trump’s tax returns from 2005 showed an income of $150 million and tax payment of $38 million.
David Cay Johnston, a journalist and tax expert, received a copy of the two-page document in his mailbox. The tax return from over a decade ago, shows that President Trump paid 25 percent of his income back in taxes. According to the IRS’s data from the 2015 tax year, the average American’s effective tax rate is 29.8 percent.
At 6 p.m. ET, Johnston broke the news via twitter saying he would be making an appearance on MSNBC, and that he had a “big story about Trump and his taxes.”
Johnston made an appearance on MSNBC with Rachel Maddow at 9 p.m. ET.
Johnston made remarks of his skepticism that the leak could have come from the president himself.
“Donald has a long history of leaking material about himself when he thinks it’s in his interest,” Johnston said on MSNBC.
The White House issued a statement about the incident:
“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 $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 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.”
President Donald Trump remains the only candidate for president, from a major party, to not release his tax returns in over forty years.
Although the leaked tax return was from 2005, it compares higher than relevant tax returns published within the last year. Last April, Bernie Sanders released his tax returns, showing only have paid 13.5 percent of his joint income.
The president has claimed on multiple occasion and stages that he would release his tax returns after the IRS’ completed their annual audit.