Trump has initiated his response to MSNBC about their fake news regarding his 2005 tax return. Journalists had hinted in their story that the president leaked the information himself, but indicated that an unknown person sent the two top pages of Trump’s 2005 return.
Via Twitter, Trump then stated that a reporter whom no one has ever heard of would be unlikely to receive a copy of Trump’s tax return in their mail.
The story from Johnston was like that of how a New York Times report stated that they received information from Trump’s 1995 tax returns in October 2016. The tax documents showed that Trump earned $153 million for 2005, but paid $38 million in total taxes.
However, the amount was not the issue. The rate for his taxes showed that he was at a 25% tax bracket, which is why Johnston stated that he assumed the president sent the information himself. After all, Trump has been accused of not paying taxes, so a return showing 25% would indicate otherwise.
Who is Johnston?
Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize winner (2001), and a well-known reporter. Trump blasted him on Twitter stating that he was a “nobody.” Johnston said in his article that Trump has a history of leaking material about himself when it thinks it is in his best interest to do so. However, Trump’s team and the administration have made it clear that the charges of the president releasing information were ridiculous and unfounded.
The White House did confirm the numbers and stated that the documents were authentic, but they further pointed out that it was illegal to steal and publish tax returns.
Just a few hours after the statement from the White House, Trump’s tweets were released, which almost seemed to backtrack. Trump claimed that the tax returns were not sent to the reporter and that the news was fake, even though the White House verified that they were real documents.
The two pages did show that, in 2005, while Trump paid millions in taxes, he equally wrote off $100 million in business losses, which dramatically reduced his tax payment.
However, Trump’s family also tweeted that the tax returns were not detrimental. Instead, they showed that Trump was successful, and that he still pays millions in taxes as he has stated in the past.
Why is Trump Suspected of Leaking the Documents?
Johnston’s claims that President Trump leaked the documents is based on the fact that the papers are stamped with “client copy” on the top.
Some do feel that the White House’s quick response to the released documents was suspicious, especially because they responded rapidly in regards to the legitimacy of the documents without taking much time to investigate them.
They also stated that the White House was unethical in their response, as the information was given to competing news organizations before it was verified with the original news source that requested an authentication of the documents.