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US Newsreader Reveals Donald Trump's Tax Returns

On-air exclusive

US Newsreader Reveals Donald Trump's Tax Returns

(Image: Twitter)

The White House has revealed President Donald Trump paid $US38 million in taxes on more than $US150 million in income in 2005, responding to a television network report that it had two pages of the returns.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said she received the documents from investigative journalist David Cay Johnston. He was sent them in the mail.

The pages obtained by MSNBC show Trump and his wife Melania paid $US5.3 million in income taxes, and $US31 million in the "alternative minimum tax" on income of more than $US150 million.

It also included a $US105 million write down on losses.

The White House did not release any documents supporting its numbers, but said Trump, as head of the Trump Organization, had a responsibility "to pay no more tax than legally required".

It also said publishing the returns would be illegal.

"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 White House said in a statement.

Trump has refused to release his tax returns, saying his taxes were under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Presidents and major candidates for the White House have routinely released their income tax returns. Experts say an IRS audit does not bar someone from releasing the documents.

At times Trump paid no federal income taxes, according to news reports.

That includes at least two years in the late 1970s, the Washington Post reported last year, citing a 1981 New Jersey gambling commission report.

The New York Times reported in October that Trump declared a substantial loss in 1995 that could have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years afterward, based on records obtained by the newspaper.

During a September presidential debate, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton criticized Trump for paying no federal income taxes.

"That makes me smart," he responded.