The Phenomenal New Trump Tax Plan Version 1.0

Stephen Colbert spent more than two minutes Wednesday night teasing the punchline to a joke in a parody of Rachel Maddow's "bombshell" report on President Trump's tax returns.

The documents showed up mysteriously in Johnston's mailbox-and Johnston, who joined Maddow on her show Tuesday, hasn't ruled out the possibility that President Trump leaked them himself.

David Cay Johnston at the time published a Reuters column saying the company, then the parent company of Fox News, made almost $5 billion in income tax refunds.

The New York Times previously reported on Trump's 1995 tax returns, which showed that he could have been able to avoid paying income taxes for up to 18 years.

In an effort to curb the story, the White House released details from the 2005 form ahead of Maddow's broadcast, which showed that he had paid $38 million in taxes on $150 million in income. Maddow only had two pages of Trump's 2005 tax returns, and devoted her show's lengthy first segment to explaining the context surrounding the returns without actually revealing their contents.

The 2005 return revealed that Mr Trump paid federal taxes of $38m (£31m) on his income of $150m (£123m).

Trump's tax returns have been an issue since the Republican primaries. "For years now, people have wanted to see his tax returns".

The controversy over Donald Trump's tax affairs has been thrust back into the USA political spotlight after details from his 2005 return were leaked to an investigative journalist. It's an effective tax rate of 25%, which is pretty low for a high roller such as Trump. So the question of what is in Mr Trump's tax returns - and why he won't publish them - has simmered on.

In short: We didn't learn anything we don't already know about Trump. "We believe that this is the first time any joke connected with Donald Trump has been released".

  • Salvatore Jensen