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White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday slammed media speculation that President Donald Trump leaked the tax return that was reported on during Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show the night before
Spicer told a gaggle of reporters Wednesday that Trump did not release the tax return himself, as reporter David Cay Johnston speculated on air. He called such speculation “despicable.” Johnston said he found the papers – two pages from Trump’s 2005 tax return – in his mailbox.
The pages showed that Trump paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income.
“The president did not release them and I think it’s offensive to ask that question,” Spicer said, according to a pool report. He added that Trump would not be releasing further tax information. The president refused to release his taxes while campaigning, breaking with tradition that dates back to the 1970s for major party nominees.
“They were provided to us to ask us for comment,” Spicer said. “To use one illegal act to say we should act further on that is preposterous. … Because they obtained one year illegally, we should respond in kind is preposterous.”
On Tuesday, Johnston said it was “entirely possible” Trump “sent this to me.” Maddow said the fact the returns were leaked to a reporter was of importance.
In a tweet that gained attention, Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur noted that the returns shown on the air had a stamp labeled “Client Copy.”