It’s unknown who sent veteran news reporter David Cay Johnston the tax returns, but it wouldn’t be an outlandish idea to think Trump may have leaked them himself in an effort to show he has paid taxes in the past and to take attention away from the elephant in the room.

Johnston said he received a copy of Donald Trump’s 2005, 1040 IRS Form in the mail, which he said is not illegal. “There’s nothing improper about it,” Johnston told Rachel Maddow, “if you haven’t solicited them.”

The tax returns show the president paid about $38 million in taxes along with about $1.5 million for Medicare and Social Security on an income of $153 million, which inclues around $105 million in business losses.

The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a thank you to Maddow for showing “how successful” his father is and that he did pay taxes. What voters would prefer to see, however, is his current tax returns,  those from 2006 through 2016.

Breaking a four-decades old tradition, Trump has refused to show his tax returns claiming they have been under audit and that his legal counsel has advised him not to release them, although, the Internal Revenue Service has not confirmed the audit.

In a statement, Trump reportedly stated, “the media must be “desperate for ratings” when they are “willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.” Trump, again called the news media dishonest, but Johnston received the returns in the mail without asking for them, so how did they end up with him and who sent them?

Maybe the plumbing is leaking behind the desk in the Oval Office. The leak had to come from somewhere.

Trump is known for being a master of manipulation, taking full advantage of the press in the past, as well as the tax codes.

“I have brilliantly used those laws. I was able to use the tax laws of this country, and my business acumen, to dig out of the real estate mess – you would call it a depression – when few others wre able to do what I did,” Trump boasted during his campaign.

This effort, wherever it may have come from, should not satisfy anyone’s need to see Trump’s returns from the last decade.

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