Trump calls tax document leak 'illegal,' calls reporter a 'weird dude'
YPSILANTI, Mich. (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - President Donald Trump thinks it was "disgusting" and "illegal" that his 2005 federal tax returns were leaked to MSNBC Tuesday, calling the reporter who obtained them a "weird dude"
Speaking exclusively to Sinclair Broadcast Group, the commander-in-chief called the late-night leak "a terrible thing."
"First of all, it’s illegal to do. I just think it’s so disgusting when people can take a tax return – which is supposed to be, almost sacred – and just release it like it’s nothing. I think it’s a terrible thing."
That said, he noted he did pay "a lot of tax," and isn't embarrassed by his success.
The two-page document stated he earned $153 million and paid $36.5 million in taxes for that year.
"I paid a lot of tax, paid $38 million in tax, that doesn’t include sales taxes and real estate taxes and lots of other taxes – don’t forget. But I paid a lot of tax and I employed a lot of people and I made money – made good money."
Trump also reported a business loss of $103 million according to the 2005 return, but without any detail.
He paid an effective tax rate of 24.5 percent.
Trump said he had no idea how the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, David Cay Johnston, was able to get the documents. The reporter said they simply arrived in his mailbox.
"I know the reporter is a weird dude who’s been following me for 25 years so obviously he hasn’t done so well. He’s been following me in a negative fashion for 25 years, always a hit. And I’m president, so he hasn’t done a very good job," Trump stated.
"But they shouldn’t be leaking tax returns, that’s for sure. Whether they’re good or bad – they shouldn’t be leaking them," Trump said.