“Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!” the president tweeted.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported on the tax returns Tuesday evening. The network got the figures from reporter David Cay Johnston, who received part of the returns.
Before the show, the White House released the figures — effectively confirming them as accurate — and said Mr. Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on more than $150 million in income in 2005.
The White House also claimed the numbers were illegally published.
“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 in a statement.
Mr. Trump broke with long-running precedent by refusing to release his returns during last year’s campaign, citing an ongoing IRS audit.
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