WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The White House has fired back after parts of President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax return were released.
The administration calls the release “illegal.”
The White House rushed to confirm details of the return moments before MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, revealed the documents on air.
In a statement Tuesday night the White House says Trump “…paid $38 million dollars…on an income of more than $150 million dollars that year…” an effective tax rate of about 25 percent. They added that “it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns.”
As to the legality of the release, Maddow responded on her show.
“The first amendment gives us the right to publish this return,” she said.
The bulk of President Trump’s tax bill, $31-million, was due to the alternative minimum tax in 2005. It’s a tax that Trump has said he wants to abolish.
The 25-percent tax rate was far below the top 35-percent rate at the time that a billionaire would presumably have been paying, according to CBS News. But if he didn’t have to pay the alternative minimum tax, he would have forked over a mere 4-percent.
In a tweet Trump’s son, Donald Trump Junior, sarcastically thanked Maddow.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 15, 2017
MSNBC says it obtained two pages of the 1040 form from journalist David Cay Johnston who runs a website called DCReport.org. He said he received a copy of the return in his mailbox from an unknown source.
“It’s entirely possible that Donald sent this to me,” said Johnston.
Trump took to Twitter to respond to Johnston’s claim he found the documents in his mailbox.
Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, "went to his mailbox" and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
The development comes as Senate lawmakers continue to press FBI Director James Comey to respond to a letter which asked him to hand over any evidence to support Trump’s claims of wiretapping by President Barack Obama.
“They’re about to screw up big time if they keep running to the intel committee and not answer that letter,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
Meanwhile, Republican leaders are also trying to salvage their health insurance plan after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected it would leave more Americans uninsured than before Obamacare was enacted.
“Obviously, in a state like mine that had Medicaid expansion, we have deep concerns,” said Republican Senator John Mccain.
Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Miami says she will vote no on the GOP health care plan. She says too many of her constituents would lose their insurance and there will be fewer funds to help the poor and elderly.
The White House says it is now working to make changes to the bill.