WASHINGTON — President Trump wrote off more than $100 million in business losses to reduce his federal taxes in 2005, according to forms made public on Tuesday night: a rare glimpse at documents that he had refused to disclose since becoming a ...
President Donald Trump's friends, family, advisers, and
supporters have been celebrating the release of his 2005 tax
return — which showed he earned $150 million that year and paid
roughly $38 million in taxes — as a win for the president against
Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. started the hashtag #ThankYouMaddow
in response to Rachel Maddow's much-hyped reveal of the tax return on MSNBC on Tuesday
night. The tax return showed that Trump both earned more that
year than his doubters thought and paid a higher income tax
percentage than either President Barack Obama or former
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
The tax return also debunked a theory that had been fueled by
a New York Times report published last year that said Trump
could have legally avoided paying federal income taxes for up to
18 years because he declared a $916 million loss on his 1995
income tax returns.
The 2005 return, however, shows that Trump paid the bulk of his
income taxes because of the
alternative minimum tax, which was introduced in 1970 to keep
the wealthy from paying less income tax than Americans with lower
incomes. Trump has said he wants to abolish the AMT.
Trump's son was not the only one reveling in Maddow's rollout of
the story. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the right-wing
Twitter personality Mike Cernovich, Fox News' Sean Hannity, the
pro-Trump commentator Bill Mitchell, and the right-leaning Drudge
Report were among those taking victory laps on Tuesday night.
Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump supporter and CNN commentator, also
chimed in, writing on Twitter that "the haters who were
speculating Trump paid 0 in income taxes were... Wrong!
It's unclear if this was the kind of reaction that either Maddow
or David Cay Johnston, the investigative reporter who says he
received the tax return in his mailbox, anticipated. Neither
returned a request for comment.
on Tuesday night that Trump or someone close to him may have
leaked the tax return — a theory that is gaining momentum among
commentators and analysts who say the return offers a favorable
glimpse into something Trump has, for unknown reasons, seemed
determined to hide.
Images of the 1040 forms were also marked with a "Client Copy"
stamp, which suggests the documents were not leaked by someone
within the IRS.
"Think abt calculus of leaker if he/she is hostile to Trump,"
Noam Scheiber, a New York Times reporter, tweeted on Tuesday. "Im going to leak tax
return showing he paid... $38m in 05? What's that do for u?"
Trump Jr. tweeted that the media "got
what they wanted" in obtaining Trump's 2005 tax return. But
it is Trump's tax returns from 2008 onward that would contain any
clues about his business ties to Russia, which is what some have
speculated Trump is trying to hide by not releasing the
"Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a
lot of our assets," Trump Jr.
told a real-estate conference in 2008. "We see a lot of money
pouring in from Russia."
In 2008, Trump Entertainment Resorts missed a $53.1
million bond interest payment and filed for chapter 11
bankruptcy protection, and Trump
sold a Palm Beach property to the Russian billionaire Dmitry
Rybolovlev for $95 million — more than twice what Trump had paid
for it in 2004.
Maddow said Tuesday night that she thought the real story of the
2005 tax return was that it was leaked to a reporter at all,
showing that Trump's tax returns are obtainable despite his
assertions that they are under audit and therefore cannot be
"The only news out of this is that the White House CAN release
the President's taxes, despite what campaign said," Mo Elleithee,
a longtime Democratic operative, wrote
on Twitter. "Which we all suspected."
The White House on Tuesday called the interest in Trump's taxes
"desperate" and claimed that publishing the documents was
"You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to
violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns
from over a decade ago," a White House official said.
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