WASHINGTON — President Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 on an income of more than $150 million, a senior White House official confirmed Tuesday night.
That rare acknowledgement came in anticipation of a report by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who purported to have copies of Trump's tax returns from 11 years ago. The White House official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive financial matter.
Trump defied decades of tradition during the 2016 presidential campaign in refusing to voluntarily release his tax returns, which would shed light on the size and breadth of a sprawling real estate and entertainment empire he says is worth $10 billion.
Maddow said she had two pages of Trump's Form 1040 from 2005, which she obtained from financial journalist and Trump biographer David Cay Johnston. "I got them in the mail. They came in over the transom," he told Maddow.
Previously, the only Trump tax returns publicly known were state tax returns from 1995 showing he lost more than $913 million — a figure that would allow him to potentially take a deduction for losses for years. Those returns were obtained by The New York Times in October.
Maddow said the 2005 return also included $103 million in deductions. But the few pages of tax returns leaked so far shows the bottom lines of his financials for two years a decade apart — and without the schedules that would detail the sources of that income. And while a legally required financial disclosure statement discloses Trump's holdings in more than 500 different ventures, that document gives only a broad outline of his financial interests.
More than 1 million people have signed a petition on the White House web site has called on Trump to release his tax returns. But Trump has been dismissive of the issue, saying in early January that "the only ones who care about tax returns are reporters."