White House responds to tax returns claims saying Trump 'had responsibility to pay no more tax than legally required'

Donald Trump has paid $38 million in taxes on more than $150 million in income, the White House said on Tuesday.

The Trump administration issued a rapid statement in response to MSNBC’s revelation that it had acquired the President’s 2005 tax returns .

Host Rachel Maddow posted a cryptic tweet teasing that she may be set to share the long-awaited details of the President’s finances.

She simply tweeted: “We’ve got Trump’s tax returns… (Seriously).”

The tease suggested that her show obtained or got access to the returns, which Trump has so far declined to release.

The White House did not release any documents supporting its numbers.

It said: “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.

“Before being elected President, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required.”

US President Donald J. Trump
(Photo: Barcroft Media)
Rachel Maddow teased that she may reveal Trump’s tax returns
(Photo: NBCUniversal)

Lawrence O’Donnell, whose show follows Maddow’s, said that she would guest on his programme.

David Cay Johnston, an author and investigative reporter who wrote the book “The Making of Donald Trump,” also tweeted that he would be a guest on the show.

Trump’s tax returns were an issue throughout the 2016 campaign, as he broke with precedent and refused to disclose his returns as other presidential nominees had done.

It has led to speculation – among rivals and in the media – that Trump has something to hide.

Maddow, whose show has gotten a significant bounce in the ratings since Trump took office, has focused in particular on Trump and his associates ties to Russia.

In October last year, it was reported that Trump declared a loss of more than £700 million in 1995 and may have avoided paying tax for 18 years as a result .

The then-Republican candidate came under intense pressure for failing to publish his tax records as is custom in for Presidential candidates.

The New York Times published a report claiming to have evidence of his astonishing tax income tax returns from the mid-1990s.

It showed Trump wrote off a loss of almost a billion dollars due to unsuccessful business ventures.

The Times said it was sent the tax returns anonymously through the post and showed them to Trump’s former accountant Jack Mitnick.

Now aged 80, he confirmed the document was “legit” and specifically the astronomical loss.

(Photo: Getty)

Experts told The Times it would have allowed Trump to avoid paying taxes on his income for up to 18 years.

The Trump campaign responded by accusing the Times of being media bias.

A spokesman said: “The only news here is that the more than 20-year-old alleged tax document was illegally obtained, a further demonstration that the New York Times, like establishment media in general, is an extension of the Clinton Campaign, the Democratic Party and their global special interests.

“What is happening now with the FBI and DOJ on Hillary Clinton ’s emails and illegal server, including her many lies and her lies to Congress are worse than what took place in the administration of Richard Nixon – and for more illegal.”

“Mr Trump is a highly-skilled business who has a fiduciary responsibility to his business, his family and his employees to ay no more than than legally required.

“That being said, Mr Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, city taxes, states taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes, along with very substantial charitable contributions.

“Mr Trump knows the tax code far better than anyone who has ever run for President and he is the only one that knows how to fix it.

“The incredible skills Mr Trump has shown in building his business are the skills we need to rebuild this country.

Hillary Clinton is a corrupt public official who violated federal law, Mr Trump is an extraordinarily successful private business who followed the law and created tens of thousands of jobs for Americans.”

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