WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — The White House pushed back ahead of time Tuesday evening before news commentator Rachel Maddow released details about President Donald Trump’s tax return from 2005.
The White House said Tuesday that Trump made more than $150 million in income in 2005 and paid $38 million in income taxes that year.
The White House released the statement in advance of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which said that it obtained a portion of his 2005 tax return via journalist David Cay Johnston.
Maddow said she had Trump’s 1040 form from 2005, which is the standard federal income tax form used to report an individual’s gross income.
According to the pages of Trump’s 1040 form, he paid about $38 million, Maddow said and took a $103 million writedown. He also made more than $150 million, Maddow said on her show.
Johnston, the author of “The Making of Donald Trump, said that he received the documents in the mail.
The White House pushed back pre-emptively, saying that publishing those returns would be illegal. Maddow said on air that the release of the tax return was not illegal and is protected by the First Amendment.
It 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.”
The White House said Trump paid the sum even after “taking into account large-scale depreciation for construction.”
“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 in a statement.
The White House added that despite the “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,” the White House said.
This is not the first reporting on Trump’s 2005 taxes. Almost exactly a year ago, the Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin found public records that indicated that Mr. Trump was able to deduct $39 million from his 2005 federal income taxes by promising not to build houses on a New Jersey golf course he owns.
Trump has, to date, not released any of his tax returns. He has said he is under IRS audit.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)