How To Read Trump's Tax Returns That Rachel Maddow Leaked
You'll notice something interesting about the president's tax returns that Rachel Maddow released Tuesday night. On the second page, there was a little stamp that read "Client Copy." But you'll want to read Trump's 2005 tax return and see if for yourself. Along with his wages for the year, it also lists his real estate amount, adjusted gross income, deductions, and, of course, taxes owed.
The 1040 form from 2005 has been uploaded on MSNBC.com, and you can view it right here. The information was reportedly leaked to journalist David Cay Johnston, who has written a book about Trump. Johnston appeared on Maddow's show Tuesday to discuss the return. The document shows that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on an income of approximately $150 million, and that he wrote off $100 million of business losses in 2005, effectively reducing his taxes, The New York Times, which last year released Trump's tax returns from 1995, detailed.
Besides noting that it's a little odd that the document reads "Client Copy" on the second page, many people have also pointed out that the White House released the information before Maddow was able do to so, despite apparently being "under audit," which was one of the reasons Trump had refused to release his tax returns to begin with.
The White House responded to Maddow's releasing of the document by, well, releasing the information before her. In a long statement, the White House accused Maddow of being "desperate for ratings" and of violating the law for releasing the returns. Maddow argues that she did not break the law, because it's in the public interest and therefore protected by the First Amendment.
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. 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, 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 White House statement concluded by claiming it is "totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns" and said the "dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the president will focus on his ..."
Presidents aren't required to release their tax information to the public, though every president for the past 40 years have done so. "The White House response is that he's not going to release his tax returns," Kellyanne Conway told ABC in January. "We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care."
Of course, as polls have shown, and as these leaks have shown and continue to show, the assertion that people don't care about Trump's tax returns certainly doesn't seem to ring true.