President Donald Trump revealed on Tuesday that he had paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 while raking in more than $150 million in income.
If you watched Rachel Maddow's big Trump tax scoop Tuesday night, you may have heard about a puzzling feature of the tax code: The alternative minimum tax, or AMT. In recent weeks, more cabinet and executive branch staff have become involved in potentially inappropriate contact with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. According to data from Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, Trump's tax percentage is below the 27.4 percent that taxpayers earning 1 million dollars a year pay on an average. "(Seriously)", Maddow wrote on Twitter.
Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, tweeted this out shortly before going on Maddow's show.
Maddow said someone leaked Johnston and his nonprofit news organization DCReport the documents.
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 two pages revealed Trump paid $38 million in 2005 in federal income taxes on a reported income of $150 million. "Despite this substantial figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns".
Maddow, during her broadcast, declared the First Amendment allows journalists to publish tax returns. Johnston then speculated on the show that the documents could have been mailed from Trump, a known leaker of information, or his associates since they appeared to paint the president in a favourable light.
Trump long insisted the American public wasn't interested in his returns and said little could be learned from them. "It's a possibility, and it could have been leaked by someone in his direction".
Maddow's show airs at 9 pm Eastern on MSNBC.
The president's returns have been a sticking point for many people on either side of the political aisle.
While Ms Maddow's coverage of Russian Federation and the Trump administration has gained her an even larger following, not all viewers were convinced that the focus on the President's 2005 tax return had benefited her cause.
Trump's refusal to release his returns during the campaign broke with decades of practice for presidential candidates, raising questions about the types of tax advantages Trump used and the sources of his income.
It's clear that the MSNBC star hit a nerve in the Trump White House by revealing something that no one in the media has yet been able to - his tax returns, even if it was just a portion.
Her comments came after a whitehouse.gov petition garnered the necessary 100,000 signatures within 30 days to garner an official's response. Trump claimed he was unable to release the documents because he was undergoing an audit from the IRS.