Tax leak reveals Trump paid $38 million in 2005

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The records were obtained by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who said he received the two-page document unsolicited in the mail, without a return address.

Presidents and major candidates for the White House have routinely released their income tax returns.

Trump paid $31m in AMT, compared to $5.3m in federal income tax.

The documents were marked "client copy", raising speculation that Trump or his aides sent them or gave them to Johnston.

Baquet did wind up publishing several pages of Trump's 1995 tax returns, in which he reported a loss of almost $1 billion, which meant he could have avoided paying federal income taxes for 18 years.

In the same statement, the White House also blasted Comcast Corp.'s CMCSA, +0.29% MSNBC, calling the network "desperate for ratings" and said "it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns".

And MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said it's "painfully obvious" that Trump leaked the documents to distract from larger issues, like Russian Federation and the healthcare fight.

Mr Trump refused to release his tax returns during the election campaign, breaking with a long-held tradition. Those losses enabled the Trumps to avoid paying millions of dollars in additional taxes.

The figures show that Mr Trump paid an effective tax rate of 25 per cent on earned income.

The official said that Mr 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". Even sometime Donald Trump allies said the fact this is the year that was leaked seems too suspicious to ignore.

Except the White House had confirmed the authenticity of the document to Maddow, who devoted her entire Tuesday telecast to the document.

The snapshot was broadly favourable to the White House and appeared to back up Trump's claim that he paid his fair share of taxes. "I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible", he told ABC in 2016.

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