The White House has issued a statement saying President Donald Trump made more than $150 million of income in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year.
Its statement late Tuesday came ahead of a report by MSNBC-TV host Rachel Maddow revealing what she said is part of what was included on Trump’s 2005 tax forms. She said she got the tax return information from David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and tax analyst.
In its pre-emptive statement, the White House said, “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.”
It added, “Before being elected president, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world. 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.”
Trump has long insisted that the American public is not interested in his returns and has said little can be learned from them. But Trump’s full returns would contain key details about things like his charitable giving and how much he made each year.
This tax issue was a major point of attack from his campaign rival Hillary Clinton, who suggested Trump has something to hide.
The White House has not said whether the president plans to release his returns while he’s in office.