Washington (AFP) – The White House pre-empted a media leak of Donald Trump’s 2005 federal tax return, acknowledging key details they previously refused to release.
The White House said Trump paid $38 million in taxes and had earned income of “more than $150 million” that year.
Trump has steadfastly refused to release his tax returns, breaking with decades of tradition among presidential candidates of all political parties.
The admission came just before MSNBC began its broadcast, saying they would reveal a short filing.
“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,” an administration official said.
Trump paid “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.”
The official said that Trump also paid “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.”
“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,” the official — who refused to be named — claimed.