Release of Trump Tax Returns Seen as a Distraction

Donald Trump speaks at CPAC in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 10, 2011.
**FILE** Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump is accused of leaking his 2005 tax return as a distraction from efforts to repeal Obamacare, his association with Russian leaders and other controversies that have raised eyebrows during the first few months of his tenure.

Theories suggest that the Trump administration leaked the return after MSNBC host and political commentator Rachel Maddow released it on her show Tuesday night.

Two pages of Trump’s 12-year-old return — first given by an unknown source to journalist David Cay Johnston, who turned them over to Maddow — showed he paid $38 million in taxes on a reported income of more than $150 million.

In confirming the authenticity of Trump’s tax forms, the White House issued a statement saying the returns were illegally published.

The statement went on to say that before Trump became president “he was one of the most successful businessmen in the world,” and that he paid “tens of millions of dollars in other taxes, such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and that this illegally published return proves just that.”

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