Washington, March 15 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has responded to the leak of his 2005 tax returns, questioning how the journalist behind the story came to obtain the documents.
"Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, 'went to his mailbox' and found my tax returns?" the President tweeted on Wednesday morning.
He went on to call NBC News "FAKE NEWS" after their presenter Rachael Maddow showed two-pages of Trump's tax returns from 2005.
Trump said "nobody ever heard of" David Cay Johnson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who claimed to have received Trump's tax returns in the post from an unknown source.
Johnson, fired back on Twitter, saying: 'Gee, Donald, your White House confirmed my story. POTUS fake Tweet. Sad!'
The President paid $38 million in federal income tax on a reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25 per cent, according to documents from Trump's 2005 tax returns disclosed on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show late Tuesday.
By claiming losses, Trump apparently saved millions of dollars in taxes that he would otherwise have owed, reports said.
The White House responded without even waiting for the show to air, issuing a statement that seemed to confirm the authenticity of the forms as it defended Trump and assailed MSNBC for publicising them, reported the New York Times.
Johnson had said during Maddow's over-hyped Tuesday night broadcast that "it's entirely possible that Donald Trump sent this to me. Donald Trump has, over the years, leaked all sorts of things."