MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported on March 14 that President Donald Trump made over $150 million, took a write-down of $103 million and paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 (video below).
Maddow said two pages of the president's 2005 tax form was given to her by journalist David Cay Johnston, who said it was mailed to him by an anonymous source.
First son Donald Trump Jr. fired off a series of "thank you" tweets in response to Maddow's report:
Thank you Rachel Maddow for proving to your #Trump hating followers how successful [RealDonaldTrump] is & that he paid $40mm in taxes! #Taxes.
Watching the media aka #fakenews implode on tv now because they got what they wanted is simply awesome. #thankyoumaddow #TrumpTaxReturns.
Ha Ha... #thankyoumaddow.
But the White House accused Maddow of violating the law.
Reuters reporter David Shepardson tweeted the White House's statement:
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...
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.
During her report, Maddow responded to the White House statement: "For the record, the First Amendment gives us the right to publish this return. It is not illegally published, nor are we fake. Pinch me, I'm real."
Maddow also noted that Johnston was only sent Trump's 1040 form, which did not list Trump's specific sources of income, only the amounts of his income, tax and deductions. Maddow stressed it was important to learn the sources of the income to see Trump's business dealings in foreign countries.
The Daily Beast reports that Trump and first lady Melania Trump paid $5.3 million in standard federal income tax, which comes to less than 4 percent of the couple's income.
The Trumps also paid $31 million in their alternative minimum tax, which is a supplemental tax that was originally created to target wealthy people who cut their standard taxes down with deductions; Trump has said he wants the alternative minimum tax eliminated.
Back on Trump Jr.'s Twitter feed, he attacked CNN: "Now [CNN] is upset that the returns that they have been dying to get their hands on for 18 months are out but it doesn't fit their narrative!"