The White House inaccurately accused MSNBC and Johnston violating the law and stealing the tax returns, neither of which appear to be true.
Donald Trump paid $38 million in federal income tax on income of $150 million in 2005, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday night.
Trump had refused to release his returns during the campaign for the Presidential elections in the USA, breaking a decade-long tradition.
The reporter who received an excerpt from President Donald Trump's 2005 tax documents is being harassed by Trump supporters after his home phone number and address were posted on the anonymous forum 8chan. But if we've learned anything from the past few weeks under a Trump administration, it's that just because something seems outrageous doesn't mean it's not true. "We were left with a lot of questions when we opened that envelope".
Mr Trump based his presidential bid on his talents as a businessman, without revealing the details of his financial affairs.
The unauthorised release or publishing of federal tax returns is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail.
The documents came through the mail and Johnson said it's possible the president leaked his own documents.
And David Cay Johnston isn't some random reporter.
To be fair, that theory doesn't exactly hold up, as Trump could easily have leaked these lackluster documents months ago, and not in the middle of major global scandals that have interrupted his 50-days-in-office milestone.
First of all, with or without this exclusive reporting by Maddow, her ratings would have been just fine. "The suit was ultimately dismissed".
On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow dropped a bombshell on Twitter an hour before her MSNBC show, when she announced that she had a copy of Donald Trump's mysterious tax returns. Trump, according to Fox News, said wiretap "covers a lot of different things".