Details of Trump’s 2005 tax returns revealed

White House: Publication of tax returns "illegal"

(CNN) – The American public is finally getting a glimpse at President Trump’s federal tax returns.

Investigative journalist David Cay Johnston obtained the first two pages of Mr. Trump’s 2005 taxes. The document shows he paid $38-million in taxes on more than $150-million in income, giving him an effective tax rate of roughly 25-percent.

The White House, while condemning the documents’ publication, confirmed the figures in a statement on Tuesday night.

The move comes as the White House is battling negative headlines on the GOP health care bill and the President’s wiretapping claims.

That’s prompting Johnston to speculate whether the president himself, or one of his staffers, sent him the document anonymously. He said, “I think it’s entirely possible. Remember, Donald has a long history of leaking information about himself.”

Democrats are largely dismissing the tax disclosure.

Former Hillary Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon said, “I don’t think we learned anything at all interesting tonight. This report tonight, I think, would be a mistake for Democrats to get distracted by.”

President Trump’s son, Donald Jr., suggested the release was actually a positive development for his father, tweeting: “BREAKING NEWS: 12 years ago, Donald Trump made a lot of money and paid a lot in taxes. #scandal.”

This comes after President Trump insisted for months that he could not release his tax returns because they were still under an audit by the IRS. He claimed, “I’m not releasing the tax returns because, as you know, they’re under audit. Almost every lawyer says, you don’t release your returns until the audit is complete. When the audit is complete, I’ll do it. I don’t know – depends on the audit, depends on the audit! Not a big deal.”

But the Democratic National Committee is suggesting that the president may have other reasons for keeping his taxes to himself.

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