Did Donald Trump leak his own tax returns?
David Cay Johnston, the journalist who revealed President Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns, said he doesn’t know who supplied the documents and it was at least possible the White House was behind the release.
“Yes,” the Pulitzer prize winning journalist replied when CNN anchor Poppy Harlow asked him if he thought the two pages, which show Trump paid $38 million in taxes that year, could have been sent by the President himself.
“Donald has a long history of leaking things about himself and doing it indirectly and directly,” Johnston told Harlow and Chris Cuomo. “So it’s a possibility.”
Johnston, however, did not provide evidence for that theory and argued later that the White House’s response suggested the President was displeased with the release.
“The anger with which the White House responded suggested not likely, however,” he said. “It’s when something gets leaked he’s happy about he doesn’t complain.”
Later Wednesday morning the President turned to Twitter to express apparent displeasure with the release of the documents, seeming to question Johnston’s narrative that the returns had been mailed to him, unsolicited.
“Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, ‘went to his mailbox’ and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!” tweeted the President.
Johnston first revealed the documents on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Tuesday night. The two pages revealed Trump paid $38 million in 2005 in federal income taxes on a reported income of $150 million.
CNN has reached out to the White House for further comment.