The man behind the leak of Trump's tax returns

A career spent reporting on taxes and Trump
The man behind the leak of Trump's tax returns
Posted at 8:01 AM, Mar 15, 2017

David Cay Johnston is the reporter who received what appears to be the first two pages of Donald Trump’s 2005 tax returns and shared them on “The Rachel Maddow” show Tuesday night.

Johnston, the editor and founder of, said he received Donald Trump’s tax returns from 2005 in the mail a few days ago. The return revealed that Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on a reported income of $150 million in 2005.

The White House responded before the show even aired, issuing a statement that seemed to confirm the authenticity of the forms, defend Trump and assail the network for publicizing them.

“You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” the statement said.

Its no surprise that David Cay Johnston is the one to break this story. The investigative reporter spent more than a decade as a tax reporter for The New York Times. In 2001, he received the Pulitzer Price for his work exposing loopholes in the U.S. tax code.

He also spent three decades covering Donald Trump and in 2016 Johnston wrote The Making of Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump determines his net worth according to emotional state” Johnston told DecodeDC podcast host Jimmy Williams. "In other words, he just makes it up.”

You can listen to the entire conversation here.