WASHINGTON — President Trump paid $38 million in taxes in 2005 on an income of more than $150 million, a senior White House official confirmed Tuesday night.
That rare acknowledgement came in anticipation of a report by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who purported to have copies of Trump's tax returns from 11 years ago. The White House official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive financial matter.
Trump defied decades of tradition during the 2016 presidential campaign in refusing to voluntarily release his tax returns, which would shed light on the size and breadth of his sprawling real estate and entertainment empire.
Previously, the only Trump tax returns publicly known were state tax returns from 1995 showing he lost more than $913 million — a figure that would allow him to potentially take a deduction for losses for years. Those returns were obtained by The New York Times in October.
More than 1 million people have signed a petition on the White House web site has called on Trump to release his tax returns. But Trump has been dismissive of the issue, saying in early January that "the only ones who care about tax returns are reporters."