The White House's disclosure Tuesday that President Donald Trump paid $38 million in taxes on income of $150 million in 2005 gives Americans "a very incomplete picture" of the president's financial situation, but it could lead him to "release the same top-line numbers" for other years, The Washington Post reporter Philip Bump said.
"We don't know exactly how that $38 million was distributed," Bump, a Post national correspondent, told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "How much was paid and so forth.
"This is one of the years no longer under audit."
The White House disclosed the figures within an hour before MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported the information. She said her staffers confirmed the authenticity of the returns with the administration.
Officials did not release any documents supporting its numbers.
The White House said in a statement President Trump had a responsibility to "pay no more tax than legally required."
"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 statement said.
The administration added it was "totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns" and is bashing the "dishonest media."
Trump has declined to release his returns, saying he is under audit by the IRS.
Bump noted to Cooper during the campaign, Trump's lawyers released a letter saying he could release his returns through 2008.
"He never had a clear answer on why he couldn't release the other ones prior to 2009," Bump said.
"But, that said, I think the one of the things tonight may do is put pressure on him to release the same top-line numbers he just did for the rest of those years."
In addition, "I don't know that the tax returns are going to tell us what his net worth is, simply because so much of [Trump's] income is tied up in real estate," Bump added.
"The point here is that we're getting a very incomplete picture, even if we get some sort of tax return."
© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.