A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist who was sent a tax document of President Trump's from 2005 floated that the president himself may have been the source of the leak.
“By the way, let me point out it’s entirely possible that Donald sent this to me,” David Cay Johnston said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
“Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGerman government denies receiving NATO invoice from Trump Breitbart denied congressional press passes: report Conservatism's worst enemy? The Freedom Caucus. MORE has over the years leaked all sorts of things,” he added. "Donald has a long history of leaking material about himself when he thinks it’s in his interest.”
Johnston said Trump "creates his own reality."
“He says things that aren’t true; he says things and then denies he said them. He lives in this world that isn’t the world where you and I live of verifiable facts,” he said.
Johnston defended his decision to publish Trump's Form 1040 from 2005 because it was sent to him unsolicited.
“There’s absolutely nothing improper about journalists, if you haven’t solicited something, getting it over the transom,” said Johnston, who authored the recent book “The Making of Donald Trump.”
The White House on Tuesday night released some details of Trump’s income and taxes that he paid in 2005 ahead of MSNBC’s broadcast after a tweet from Maddow sparked a storm of speculation.
Trump reported $150 million in income and paid $38 million in taxes, according to a statement from the White House that supported the numbers in the two-page document released by the left-leaning news network.
The White House also slammed MSNBC for covering the topic and promoting it extensively before Maddow’s broadcast 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,” its statement said. "Despite this substantial income figures 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.”
Trump was the first major-party presidential nominee in decades not to disclose his tax returns.
Democrats and some Republicans have since pressured Trump to release more information, with many concerned about his potential financial ties overseas, particularly to Russia.
Trump has long maintained he would not release his returns due to an IRS audit, but the agency said that nothing prevents someone from releasing personal tax information.