Here’s the tweet. You try to figure out exactly what Donald Trump means:
A White House spokesperson confirmed key numbers in the 2005 Donald Trump Form 1040 released by DCREPORT.ORG and claimed that its publication was “illegal.” So the tax returns are real. So what is the fake news? I guess Trump is claiming that the reporter who published the returns didn’t just “find” them but got them some other way.
To start with, Trump (who really doesn’t pay attention to folks outside his family and business interests by the evidence of who he follows on Twitter), says that reporter David Cay Johnson is someone “nobody ever heard of.” I guess a Pulitzer Prize for economic reporting doesn’t carry much weight in Trump’s universe, but in that universe, no one but journalists want to see his tax returns either.
Of course Trump has no evidence one way or another about how Johnson obtained the tax form. Or does he?
We cannot discount the possibility that Trump leaked the forms himself. Think about it. There is mounting pressure for Trump to release his taxes in full. The Congress is digging into Trump’s connections with Russians. His complete tax returns would show where Trump gets his money, and who he owes. This woefully incomplete two pages from 11 years ago, generally innocuous, might be the basis of an argument that goes: “See, you’ve seem my tax returns and there’s nothing interesting about them.” Form 1040 alone tells you almost nothing about Trump’s business dealings.