Last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow unveiled copies of President Donald Trump's 2005 IRS From 1040, which the White House has confirmed is genuine, and characterized MSNBC as "illegally publishing." The statement from the White House continued that it is "totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns," and expressed the view that the media is "dishonest." Ms. Maddow noted that the First Amendment gives journalists the right to publish Trump's tax return, stating "It is not illegally published." She noted that the two pages in MSNBC's possession does not comprise Donald Trump's entire return from 2005.

For the 2005 fiscal year, the Rachel Maddow Trump tax returns show taxes of $36.5 million paid on over $150 million in income. A write down of $103.2 million was noted, as well. The documents, said to be the first Trump tax returns reporters have ever examined, were provided to MSNBC by David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, who found them in his mail.

David Cay Johnston suggests president himself may have leaked returns

The MSNBC host questioned why President Trump won't release his tax returns, as other presidents have, dating back to the 1970s. Speaking with David Cay Johnston about how he received the tax return, the author held open the possibility that Donald Trump himself mailed it.

He noted leaked photos, and documents, which have been suggested, though not proven, to have come from the president, before he took office.

When Maddow asked Mr. Johnston if he had "reason to believe" that the 2005 1040 came from Trump, the writer would only allow the possibility, but expressed that he did not see evidence leading him to believe that the return had come from the president himself.

When asked if the Trump tax returns appeared "right" to him, the amount of tax paid, compared with the income, Johnston replied "yes," and elaborated that the return fits with other information that is known about the president's finances publicly.

Trump income 'sources' still a mystery

Johnston then spoke about the "alternative minimum tax," something that President Trump wishes to abolish, and that if it is, and current regulations were applied to his 2005 numbers, Trump would have paid just over $5 million in tax, compared to the $36.5 million he was reported to have paid.

The investigative journalist reported that this is a lower rate than people who make less than $33,000 annually, and compared the 24 percent Trump paid in 2005 to "married couples with two incomes."

With the Rachel Maddow Trump tax return release, the public now knows the "types" of income Donald Trump has received, David Cay Johnston suggested that it still doesn't know the "sources." Maddow expressed that knowing the sources of the president's income may reveal whether he is "beholden to somebody." She also stated that understanding Trump's taxes will give Americans a sense of whether he is affecting policy to benefit himself. Johnston stated that "there must be something hiding" in Donald Trump's tax returns to make him so reluctant to make them public.

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