President Donald Trump attacked an MSNBC report on his tax returns Wednesday morning, expressing doubt that a reporter found the president’s tax returns in his mailbox.
Trump did not seem to question the information itself, however, as the White House preemptively confirmed part of the president’s 2005 tax return before a Tuesday-night report from MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
David Cay Johnston, the reporter who obtained the tax information – and who Trump tweeted that “nobody ever heard of” – won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 and wrote a biography of Trump, “The Making of Donald Trump,” in 2016.
Johnston’s publisher, Melville House, says on the website for his Trump biography that the book was “the culmination of nearly 30 years of reporting on Donald Trump” and that Johnston had “covered Trump more closely than any other journalist working today.”
Johnston suggested on Maddow’s show that Trump himself could have anonymously leaked the documents to him.
Images of the 1040 forms were marked with a “Client Copy” stamp that suggested the documents may have been leaked by someone close to Trump, if not Trump himself.
Maddow even said on her program that the tax information alone wasn’t an important story; rather, she said, the fact it was leaked to a reporter was.
David Choi contributed reporting to this story.