President Donald Trump cast doubt Wednesday morning on the methods of a reporter who published two pages of his 2005 tax return, suggesting that “nobody ever heard of” him and that NBC News, which broadcast the information from his return, is guilty of “FAKE NEWS.”
The journalist in question is David Cay Johnston, a former New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner, who said he was sent two pages from Trump’s 2005 tax return but does not know the source of the documents. Johnston took those pages to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who aired details from them on her Tuesday night show.
“Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!” Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
The tax documents made public by Johnston and Maddow show that Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 on an income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of roughly 25 percent. Trump has thus far been unwilling to release his tax returns, something presidential candidates have done for decades, but the White House released details from his 2005 return shortly before those same details were reported on Maddow’s show.