Trump Paid $38 Million Tax on $150 Million Income: White House

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow trailed the segment with a Tweet saying "We've got Trump tax returns tonight".

Indeed, the White House tried to undercut the exclusive by releasing Trump's 1040 tax form in advance of the airing. The two pages show Trump wrote off more than $100 million in business losses to reduce his federal taxes in 2005.

The editor and founder of, which crashed Tuesday night during the 9 p.m. hour, said he received Donald Trump's tax returns from 2005 in the mail a few days ago. Dean Baquet, the paper's editor, had said he would risk jail to publish the returns.

That particular tax cost Mr. Trump $31 million in 2005, according to Johnston's reporting.

The White House said in a statement on Tuesday that Trump, as head of the Trump Organisation, had a responsibility "to pay no more tax than legally required".

The reporter "who nobody ever heard of" is David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning tax reporting expert who has covered Trump for decades and authored a biography about him previous year, "The Making of Donald Trump".

The Trump administration made the revelation after copies of the tax returns were mailed anonymously to journalist David Cay Johnston.

- Whether or not Trump paid taxes in other years and how much he paid in other years.

The White House said Trump paid $38m in taxes and had earned income of "more than $150m" that year.

- Trump paid his taxes under the alternative minimum tax, which is created to prevent wealthy individuals from paying no taxes at all.

The decision to hype the scoop - Maddow first tweeted her all-caps "breaking" alert at 7:36 p.m. ET - disappointed many journalists, who felt that Maddow had undermined legitimate inquiry into Trump's tax returns.

But because of the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, he actually ended up paying $38 million.

In October, The New York Times obtained a single year's return anonymously that showed that Trump declared a $916 million loss and lists tax benefits he used after a turbulent financial period for him in the early 1990s.



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