The White House Response To Trump’s 2005 Tax Return Is So Dismissive

Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

On Tuesday evening, before MSNBC's Rachel Maddow could walk her viewers through them on prime-time television, the White House responded to President Trump's 2005 tax return being leaked. In a statement, the Trump administration seemed eager to dismiss Maddow's breaking news, calling the disclosure of his 2005 1040 individual income tax form "illegally published." Nonetheless, the White House's statement also confirmed some large numbers about Trump's wealth.

According to both Maddow's report and the Trump administration's statement, the president claimed an annual income of more than $150 million on his 2005 tax form. On that income, he paid roughly $38 million in taxes. The Daily Beast has reported that $5.3 million of that sum was paid as "regular federal income tax," while $31 million was paid as "alternative minimum tax." The White House's statement did not get into the finer details of the president's income taxes, but it did note that Trump also paid "tens of millions of dollars in other taxes," including sales, excise, and employment taxes.

The focus of the Oval Office's response, however, was not on the dollars and cents. Rather, the Trump administration took the opportunity to once again lash out at the "dishonest" media. The White House called Maddow "desperate for ratings," saying that media violated the law by publishing Trump's tax documents.

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Read the Trump administration's response below:

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. 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. 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.
Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

For her part, Maddow assured viewers on Tuesday night that her reporting was well within the letter of the law, or more specifically, the First Amendment. Illegal or not, the tax return news was quickly dismissed by the White House, which emphasized that the 2005 filing was from more than a decade ago. The presidential response beat Maddow's show to the punch, but it certainly didn't quiet the conversation or speculation around Trump's finances.