The White House on Tuesday night preemptively released some details of President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE's income and taxes he paid in 2005 as MSNBC teased leaked documents ahead of an evening broadcast.
Trump reported $150 million in income and paid $38 million in federal taxes, the White House said in a statement.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow had teased Tuesday evening that she had Trump's Form 1040 from 2005. Fellow anchor Lawrence O'Donnell tweeted before her show, "This is the night we've been waiting for."
After apparently being warned by the network about the impending story, the White House quickly released the major numbers itself shortly before the broadcast — slamming MSNBC in the process.
“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 statement read. "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."
Maddow said the federal document was mailed to David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of the recent book “The Making of Donald Trump.”
The White House said Trump had a responsibility "to pay no more tax than legally required." Trump claimed a $103 million deduction and paid $5.3 million in federal income tax. The rest came mostly as an alternative minimum tax payment — originally created to help prevent tax avoidance by wealthy filers.
"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," the White House said. "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 [sic], 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."
The quick publication of the information by the White House seems to run contradictory to Trump's repeated pledges not to provide tax information due to an IRS audit. However, the IRS has said that nothing prevents someone from releasing their own tax information.