The White House confirmed Tuesday night that President Donald Trump paid $38 million in federal taxes on more than $150 million in net earnings in 2005, after MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" said it would release the details. obtained two pages from what it said were Trump's 2005 Form 1040. The site's founder, David Cay Johnston, a former reporter for The New York Times, was to disclose details of the two pages on the program.

The White House said the "illegally published" pages proved only that Trump "was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required."

"Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns," the White House said in a statement. "The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans."

Trump broke with decades of precedent during the campaign by becoming the first major-party nominee since Richard Nixon during the 1970s to refuse to release his tax returns. He repeatedly cited an ongoing IRS audit in refusing to do so but said he would eventually release them when the audit was complete.

But in January, after Trump was inaugurated, his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, said the president had changed his mind and wouldn't release any tax materials.

"We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care," she said.

In October, The New York Times reported that Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 New York State income tax returns. The Trump campaign objected to publication of those 20-year-old returns, alleging that they were illegally obtained.